Italy: Ciao to a Brief Stability

Ciao to a Brief Stability

Palazzo Chigi, the Renaissance building where Italy's Prime Minister works, is swathed in green netting while workmen repair its deteriorating facade. Last week the government inside was also crumbling. Citing deep rifts in his five- party coalition, Socialist Bettino Craxi resigned as Prime Minister after 3 1/ 2 years, ending Italy's longest postwar government.

Craxi's most probable successor is Christian Democrat Giulio Andreotti, who has already been Prime Minister five times. An Andreotti government, though, may be short-lived. Many Italians expect that elections will be held earlier than the June 1988 date now scheduled.