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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.

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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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