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Andreotti Gets Coalition OK to Form 49th Italian Government

From Reuters

Prime Minister-designate Giulio Andreotti won agreement Friday from five coalition parties to form Italy’s 49th post-World War II government.

“The party leaders gave a favorable judgment on the program,” the veteran Christian Democrat told reporters after a three-hour meeting with his government partners.

Socialist leader Bettino Craxi, whose party brought down the old five-party coalition on May 19, told reporters: “After today’s meeting we can consider the crisis definitively resolved.”

Andreotti, who has been prime minister five times already, said he will put the final touches to his list of ministers today.

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Andreotti, 70, was asked by President Francesco Cossiga to form a government on July 9 after efforts by outgoing prime minister and fellow Christian Democrat Ciriaco De Mita failed to resolve longstanding tensions among the allies.

One of Italy’s most experienced and persuasive politicians, Andreotti encountered no major obstacles, confirming suspicions of most politicians that the underlying cause of the rift was a desire to depose De Mita.

De Mita has turned down two offers of Cabinet posts and is not expected to be included in the new government.

Andreotti said Thursday that the principal aims of the government will be preparation for a single European market in 1992, institutional reform and the economy.

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In ministerial bargaining, the Socialists are reported to have secured the prestigious foreign portfolio, which Andreotti has held for the Christian Democrats since 1983, and are expected to retain the deputy premiership.

In return, they are expected to return the treasury post to the Christian Democrats.

The Republican, Liberal and Social Democrat junior parties each will have about two ministerial posts, political sources said.

Once Andreotti and his ministers have been sworn in by President Cossiga, the government will go before both houses of Parliament for votes of confidence.

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