Arnaldo Forlani, president of the Christian Democratic Party, has accepted President Sandro Pertini's invitation to try to form a new government and end Italy's 40th postwar political crisis. The premier-designate is a former foreign minister who has held Cabinet posts in seven governments and is widely regarded as a relaxed and easygoing politician.
Mr. Forlani will try to continue and possibly enlarge the alliance of Christian Democrats, Socialists, and Republicans which collapsed in a parliamentary vote last week. But he did not say if he was thinking of a closer cooperation with the second-ranking opposition Communist Party.
Italy's government crisis hit the nation at a time of severe economic crisis, caused largely by the hugely increased cost of oil. In addition, an gry workers of the Fiat auto empire have idled the Fiat plants in the Turin region since Sept. 11 to protest company plans to lay off up to 24,000 employees. At the time of the crisis, all three main Italian unions had backed a call for a general strike in support of the Fiat workers.