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Italy’s 12 distinct language communities will undoubtedly welcome the new government of Giuliano Amato, which will be composed of 24 ministers. Premier Minister Amato has averted the need for fresh elections which had been called for by the centre-right opposition parties lead by Silvio Berlusconi.
Some language communities had feared that early elections could bring the centre-right to power and offer government posts to the National Alliance (Alleanza nazionale), which is explicitly against linguistic minorities. The most evident consequence of such a political development was expected to be the shelving of the approval procedure of the legislation for the Slovene minority in the country.
The new Italian government may not bring major differences for linguistic minorities in the country, however, there is one major change in ministerial posts: the new Minister of Education is Tullio De Mauro, a well-known linguist and specialist in the language communities of Italy. De Mauro was also one of the three experts who, on behalf of the Commission for constitutional affairs of the Chamber of Deputies, formed the official list of linguistic minorities in Italy. De Mauro is well aware of the linguistic picture of the country and knows much about its twelve linguistic minorities and appreciates their linguistic and cultural value.
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