Italy's Socialist leader, Signor Bettino Craxi, has resigned as the country's Prime Minister designate. His?
GV Quirinale Palace in Rome
SV AND CU Premier designate Bettino Craxi speaking in Italian
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Background: Italy's Socialist leader, Signor Bettino Craxi, has resigned as the country's Prime Minister designate. His resignation followed the rejection of his programme by the Christian Democrat Party, which has ruled Italy for more than thirty years.
SYNOPSIS: Signor Craxi visited the Quirinale Palace in Rome on Tuesday (24 July) to hand his resignation to President Pertini. Afterwards, he told newsmen that there was no end in sight to Italy's political crisis.
Signor Craxi said he was concerned at the state of the nation and its institutions. There was, he said, a 'pressing need to find a way out of the crisis'. In his programme, Signor Craxi had proposed a five party coalition. If it had not been rejected by the Christian Democrat Party, the coalition would have been Italy's forty-second government since the end of fascism.
The tortuous negotiations during Signor Craxi's two week attempt to form a government have strained relations between Italy's political parties. The Christian Democrats were particularly critical of the preamble to Signor Craxi's programme which talked of 'changing the traditional and predetermined roles' of the parties.
The Christian Democrats have thirty-eight percent of the vote. They say they recognise the importance of an understanding with Signor Craxi's Socialists before an effective government can be formed. But this last attempt at conciliation is unlikely to soothe the bitter relations between the Socialists and the Christian Democrats.