The ruling Christian Democratic Party and Italy's five other major parties met in joint session in Rome on Friday (24 June) for the first time ever.
GV EXTERIOR: parliament building interior.
GV: party leaders and newsmen gather before meeting.
SV PAN: delegates greeting one another
GV PAN: leaders seated at long table.
CU: (hand to forehead) with party Secretary-General Benigno Zaccagnini on his left ZOOM OUT TO other members.
SV AND GV: delegates at table (3 shots)
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Background: The ruling Christian Democratic Party and Italy's five other major parties met in joint session in Rome on Friday (24 June) for the first time ever. Their purpose was to discuss ways to reaching a compromise agreement on how to govern the country. Among the major problems they explored were the sagging economy, increasing violence, and university, prison and police reforms. The draft plan that emerged set down ways to help police squash extremist violence, which has risen alarmingly in Italy this year.
SYNOPSIS: This historic joint session in Montecitorio, the parliament building, followed a series of bilateral meetings between the various parties. The delegates represented the Christian Democrats, Communist Party, Socialists, Social Democrats, Liberal and Republican parties. Both the Socialists and Communists have been clamouring for some time for a government of national emergency.
The two parties content that Italy is in such bad shape that it cannot survive as a parliamentary democracy unless all parties share in running the country. For almost two months, the parties have been discussing ways to tackle Italy's multitude of worries. The anti-violence section would give police greater powers of arrest, interrogation and wiretapping. It dispenses with the need for police to have a defence lawyer or judge present before they can question detainees. Of late Italy has suffered a wave of bombings, kidnappings, murders, and urban guerrilla attacks.
Among those present were Aldo Moro, President of the Christian Democrats and at his left, the party's Secretary-General Benigno Zaccagnini.
Government sources predicted that an agreement along the broad lines of the agreement would be confirmed next week.