ITALY: Andreotti: Rebus Sic Stantibus

"I am not a Little Red Riding Hood who looks only at the nightcap and thinks that it's her grandmother," says Italy's urbane Premier Giulio Andreotti. "But at the same time, I am not so reckless as to throw oil on the fire and ruin everything." Metaphorical mixture aside, such political caution and practicality explain how Christian Democrat Andreotti, 57, has managed for the past four months to keep a weak one-party government in power, primarily propped up by the "benevolent abstention" in Parliament of a strong Communist Party.

Communist cooperation in...

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