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World IN BRIEF / ITALY

Ousted Premier Now Supports Leftist

October 16, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

Italy's ousted premier, Romano Prodi, gave up trying to form a new government and threw his support to a former Communist, Massimo D'Alema, after calling on President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro to say he had failed in two days of talks aimed at winning back the support of a majority of lawmakers. Prodi's center-left government fell Oct. 9 when he lost a vote of confidence in Parliament. "A heavy burden has been lifted from my shoulders," Prodi said, "but it was a burden I'd have like to have kept." D'Alema leads the largest party in Prodi's coalition, the Democratic Party of the Left. He was a force within Prodi's government, but, until now, he has contended that his Communist past blocked him from taking the top job.

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