Silvio Berlusconi on 7 May told Italian president Giorgio Napolitano that he had formed a new government, the fourth since the media magnate entered politics in 1994. The government of 21 cabinet ministers, which will be sworn in on 8 May afternoon, takes over from the government headed by Romano Prodi and roundly defeated in the elections held on last 13-14 April.

The new government of 12 ministers with portfolio and 11 without was formed only after drawn-out and sometimes bitter negotiations between the two parties that make up Berlusconi

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