Portuguese Prime Minister Mario Soares is making a tour of the nine EEC countries (before coming to Rome, he had already visited London, Dublin and Copenhagen) in an effort to convince the "nine" to allow Portugal into the Community.
Mario Soares arriving at Quirinal Palace, residence of President Giovanni Leone, being greeted by Leone and Italian Foreign minister Arnaldo Forlani.
At the Grand hotel later in the evening Soares speaking held a press conference film shows Soares speaking to press, Journalists asking question.
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Background: Portuguese Prime Minister Mario Soares is making a tour of the nine EEC countries (before coming to Rome, he had already visited London, Dublin and Copenhagen) in an effort to convince the "nine" to allow Portugal into the Community. Recently the Council of Ministers of the Community had expresses a favourable reaction to the request of portugal, however, it is still a long way before Portugal will be admitted. For Soares' government entering into the Community would prove helpful in solidifying their support among voters. It seems that the majority of Portuguese would like to become members of the Community. Only Cunhal and the community do not want to join the EEC.
The Italian government yesterday assured Soares that they would support Portugal's request "without reservation".
During his press conference Soares said in March he will visit Paris, go on to Bonn and the Benelux capital. Afterwards Portugal would present a formal request of admission to the EEC. Soares also thanked the Italian government for its support. Soares said the EEC should allow Portugal to become a member otherwise the Community would become only"a club for the rich".
The Community has reservations vis a vis Portugal because the political situation is no yet completely stable and also because the inflation rate of about 30 percent yearly has not been dealt with effectively by the government.
On the other hand, Soares said in his press conference that for nearly a half century of military dictatorship Portugal had looked to its African colonies and had "turned its back to Europe" but that now it realized that "its future lies in Europe".