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Dini Presents Cabinet for Latest Italian Government

January 17, 1995 GMT

ROME (AP) _ Premier-designate Lamberto Dini today fashioned Italy’s latest government, weighting it heavily with professors and judges, but immediately ran into trouble.

Leaders of the outgoing conservative coalition of media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi said they would not support Dini’s Cabinet when it goes before Parliament for approval.

Dini’s announcement ended four days of maneuvering by Berlusconi and his allies to maintain a presence in what will be Italy’s 54th postwar government.

But Dini rebuffed those efforts and stuck to President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro’s desire for a government of nonpartisan experts.

Dini said he chose ``persons of great experience and unquestionable impartiality″ to deal with a ``moment of particular difficulty″ in Italy. Last week he laid out his priorities: cutting the deficit, bringing about pension and electoral reforms, and passing anti-trust regulations.

Despite Berlusconi’s resignation as premier on Dec. 22, he tried to remain a power-broker in the formation of the next government.

But the leftist opposition to the media tycoon strongly opposed the return of any of Berlusconi’s government ministers. Scalfaro also was reported to have resisted their presence.

Dini’s proposed Cabinet included Susanna Agnelli, Fiat head Giovanni Agnelli’s sister, as foreign minister; former armed forces chief of staff Domenico Corcione as defense minister; High Court Judge Antonio Brancaccio as interior minister, and Filippo Mancuso, a former Appeals Court prosecutor, as justice minister. Dini kept the treasury portfolio, which he held under Berlusconi.

Scalfaro was to swear in the Cabinet this evening. The government must then go before Parliament for a vote of confidence.

Berlusconi’s backers argued that a new government without representation of his coalition would violate the will of the voters, who last March handed Berlusconi a sweeping victory.

``I have to say that (Dini) is lying when he says that his government is non-partisan,″ said Clemente Mastella, the outgoing labor minister in Berlusconi’s government. The new finance minister, running with a tiny reformist party lost in the last election to a candidate from the National Alliance, a right-wing party in Berlusconi’s coalition.

Dini was likely to gain the backing of the Northern League, a populist regional party, and the former communist Democratic Party of the Left, which controls about a third of the Chamber of Deputies.

Before becoming treasury minister under Berlusconi, Dini held the second-highest job at the Bank of Italy.