Rome, January 13 - A deadline for Italy's popolari cooperative banks to turn into joint stock companies should remain on ice for the time being, Italy's top administrative court, the Council of State, ruled on Friday. The court ruled that the deadline, which was meant to kick in on December 27 under the terms of a recent reform, should be suspended until it examines the issue again following a Constitutional Court decision on an aspect of it. The Council of State had suspended the deadline last month. In December the Constitutional Court rejected one appeal against the reform presented by the northern Lombardy region, which argued that central government interfered with regional powers through that reform. The reform obliges Italy's multitude of popolari to turn into joint stock companies and aims to encourage mergers. Many popolari have been resisting government the reform, which abolishes rules limiting every shareholder to a single vote, regardless how big their stake is.