Prodi named Italy's premier-designate

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The Independent Online
Prodi named Italy's premier-designate

Rome - Romano Prodi, an economist who led a centre-left coalition to election victory, was named prime minister-designate and asked to form Italy's 55th post-war government yesterday. Mr Prodi could announce his cabinet choices this weekend. The government then must be approved by parliament. Mr Prodi's bloc, dominated by the former Communists, led elections on 21 April.

Before he even was given the job, Mr Prodi faced a tough economic task: coming up with a package of spending cuts and tax increases. The savings are needed to keep the government's deficit in line with a hole of 109.4 trillion lire ($70bn), the basis for budget calculations. AP

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