Italian caretaker Prime Minister, Francesco Cossiga, on Sunday (23 March) agreed to try to form a new government.
SV PAN EXTERIOR Quirinal Palace in Rome with Italian flag flying from rooftop
GV Italian caretaker Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga and officials enter room to speak to newsmen
CU PULL OUT TO MV Cossiga speaking
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Background: Italian caretaker Prime Minister, Francesco Cossiga, on Sunday (23 March) agreed to try to form a new government. Mr. Cossiga resigned from the Premiership last week after his seven-month old coalition government collapsed when the Socialist Party announced it would no longer support the government by abstaining on key Parliamentary votes.
SYNOPSIS: President Sandro Pertini called Mr. Cossiga to the Quirinal Palace and asked him to form Italy's thirty-ninth post-war government. Political observers saw the move as the only solution to Italy's latest political crisis.
After his meeting with the President Mr. Cossiga told reporters he felt it was his duty to accept the task of forming a new administration. He said he felt grateful for the trust in him conferred by President Pertini. But he warned a fresh government would need a new structure and a realistic and authoritative basis if it was to succeed. Mr Cossiga added that his new government would take account of the general wishes of the community and be based on national solidarity.
Mr. Cossiga said he hoped to start talks this week with party leaders over the new government formation. Political sources quoted by Reuters believe that a coalition between the Socialists and Mr. Cossiga's Christian Democrats is the most likely outcome of the talks. The former coalition grouped the Social Democrats and Liberals as junior partners with the Christian Democrats. Left-wing Socialists called for Communist Party Parliamentary members to be brought into the Cabinet, a policy unacceptable to the Christian Democratic Party. A two-party coalition with the Socialists would involve a compromise with the left without government reliance on Communist support.