In Italy, the new government of Premier Giulio Andreotti was sworn in on Wednesday (21 March).
In Italy, the new government of Premier Giulio Andreotti was sworn in on Wednesday (21 March). Signor Andreotti has headed a caretaker government since the end of January, when his minority administration collapsed.
SYNOPSIS: The members of the new government have been drawn form three political parties -- Italy's first attempt at a coalition since 1976. But the Christian Democrats, along with two minority parties -- the Republicans and Social Democrats -- still haven't given Signor Andreotti a majority.
President Sandro Pertini had asked the three parties to form a coalition in the hope of avoiding early elections. But their chance of ruling effectively disappeared when the Socialists -- who the government were relying on for support -- cancelled a meeting with Signor Andreotti. The Socialists criticised the ideo of a coalition and said a meeting with the Prime Minister was pointless. Without a majority, there was little chance of the government surviving a vote of confidence in Parliament set for March 29th. Italy's second most powerful party, the Communists, also have refused their cooperation.
The Communists had worked informally with the Christian Democrats to keep Premier Andreotti's previous administration in power -- but it fell when they withdrew support.