Exit Spadolini; enter Spadolini?

Prime Minister-designate Giovanni Spadolini began the arduous task Wednesday of trying to put together Italy's 42nd government since World War II.

Mr. Spadolini, whose 13-month-old coalition Cabinet collapsed last weekend, accepted the assignment from President Sandro Pertini. The third-ranking Socialist Party, which precipitated the latest crisis by withdrawing from the Cabinet, said it would make Spadolini's task difficult, if not impossible. The Socialists would be a necessary part of almost any governing coalition.

President Pertini's choice of Spadolini was no surprise, as it is almost traditional for outgoing prime ministers to get the first try at forming a new government.

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