Italy's 51-day political crisis is over and Prime Minister designate, Guilio Andreotti has started to draw up a list of cabinet ministers for his new Communist-backed government.
GV EXT: Palazzo Chigi in Rome.
SCU: Prime Minister Designate Guilio Andreotti speaking to newsmen and entering car.
GV INT: Parliament building with Socialist party secretary Bettino Craxi (centre) and Christian party secretary Benigno (on his left) seated at meeting. ZOOM & PAN TO meeting in progress.
SV INT: Palazzo Chigi with Enrico Berlinguer (centre) leaving elevator and entering meeting.
GV & CU: Berlinguer seated at table during meeting. (3 SHOTS)
The new government's programme will be put before the Senate (the Upper House) on Monday, 20 March, and the five parties of the ruling majority are expected to endorse it on Wednesday 22 March. The five parties forming the new parliament majority are the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats, the Socialists, Republicans and Communists.
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Background: Italy's 51-day political crisis is over and Prime Minister designate, Guilio Andreotti has started to draw up a list of cabinet ministers for his new Communist-backed government. Signor Andreotti reached agreement with party leaders on Wednesday (8 March), and informed sources say that the cabinet list he presents to President Giovanni might well include some non-party experts.
SYNOPSIS: After a lengthy meeting at Government headquarters with representatives of the Republican, Social Democrat, Socialist and Communist parties, Signor Andreotti, the Christian Democrat leader, told newsmen that he had a mandate to form a new government. Signor Andreotti, a veteran of three previous administrations, plans to hold his first cabinet meeting on Wednesday (15 March).
Socialist party secretary Bettino Craxi and his colleagues are said to favour the new government including non-political experts, who would have responsibility for such things as finance. They are reported as seeing no reason for a coalition, believing that the important thing is for all parties to have a say in legislation. The main thrust of the new government will be directed at tackling Italy's chronic economic problems and the continuing threat of politics violence.
At Wednesday's meeting at the Palazzo Chigi, Communist party secretary, Enrico Berlinguer, only agreed to support Signor Andreotti after winning assurances that the Communists would have a clear role in the government majority in parliament. This means that for the first time since 1947 the Italian Communists, the largest Marxist party in Western Europe, will be voting for the government. The Communists have hailed the new arrangement as a breakthrough, which brings them a step closer to their aim of power-sharing in Italy. But hardline Christian Democrats argue that they have suffered a set-back because they failed to win any cabinet posts.