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Premier Names Himself Interim Foreign Minister

January 07, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi named himself interim foreign minister amid concerns that Italy would grow more isolated after the resignation of its respected foreign envoy.

Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero quit Saturday after seven months of fractious relations with the conservative government over European policy and a dispute with Berlusconi over his coalition's unenthusiastic reception of the euro currency.

Berlusconi sought to assure his European allies that Italy's foreign policy would support further political and military cooperation in Europe even without the pro-European Union Ruggiero in the ministry.

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