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    In Italy, a move by the country's Communist party has brought the formation of a new government closer.

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    In Italy, a move by the country's Communist party has brought the formation of a new government closer. They have dropped demands to be included in the cabinet, and accepted an "emergency pact" as the basis for a new Italian government. It was the Communist demand for cabinet positions that brought down the 17-month-old Christian Democrat minority government last month. Since then, the parties have been involved in a series of discussions to try to work out a formula to end the government crisis.

    SYNOPSIS: The Italian government headquarters were the scene of the latest announcement, which Communist party leader Enrico Berlinguer made after two hours of talks with other party leaders.

    Last week, a compromise from the Christian Democrats gave the Communist much more influence in national policy making. Signor Berlinguer said that, taking into account the position of the other parties, he was ready to consider the possibility of giving life to what he termed an emergency pact. This, he said, would be based on an agreed programme, and would be confirmed by the formation of a clear parliamentary majority. He added his party is now ready to join a parliamentary Christian Democrat minority government. According to Reuters though, one issue still to be resolved is the exact status the Communists would have in any compromise. The next person to emerge was the Socialist party leader, Signor Bettino Craxi.

    It was with his party's backing that the Communists were able to force the resignation of the government over three weeks ago. He said that he had asked that the consultations over the crisis be speeded up. Since the resignation there had been plenty of time for thinking, and Signor Craxi thought it was time to accelerate the process so a solution could quickly be found. For ordinary Italians, the formation of new government is something familiar. When the next one is eventually formed, it will be Italy's 40th since the last war.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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