Italy: Charmed Life

Spadolini passes a test

Only hours after he had been sworn into office last week, Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini abruptly encountered his first test in the uses of power. Angry labor leaders were threatening to paralyze the country with a general strike if the Italian industrialists' association unilaterally broke a six-year-old agreement linking wage increases to the official inflation rate. Both sides were adamant; a clash seemed inevitable. Spadolini spent the night threatening and cajoling until the industrialists' association, Confindustria, agreed to meet again with the government and the unions to discuss all aspects of rising labor costs. "I'm still only...

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