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STORY: Newly-sworn-in Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and outgoing premier Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday (November 16) evening attended a government handover ceremony at Rome's Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Italian government.
Monti was welcomed by the Italian honour guard as he walked a red carpet laid outside the government building.
During the ceremony, Berlusconi presented Monti with a bell which Monti later rung for the start of his first cabinet meeting.
Berlusconi, meanwhile, was given an applause as he departed from the building.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano swore in the 16-member government, including three women, at his palace on Wednesday afternoon, ending a chaotic political crisis that has placed Italy at the centre of the euro zone's burgeoning problems.
The government now has the urgent task of tackling a broader crisis that has pushed Italy's borrowing costs to untenable levels and brought it to the brink of economic disaster.
The appointment of the widely respected former European Commissioner to replace flamboyant media magnate Silvio Berlusconi has brought relief in euro zone capitals.