ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will meet with President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday in the first formal step ahead of the dissolution of parliament which is necessary before an election can be called, a government source told Reuters.
Gentiloni will go to the president's palace at 1500 local time (1400 GMT), said the source, who asked not to be named.
After the meeting with Gentiloni, Mattarella is expected to summon the speakers of the two houses and then dissolve parliament. Gentiloni's cabinet will then set the date of the election, which is widely expected to be March 4.
(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, writing by Gavin Jones, editing by Isla Binnie)