The campaign for next month's divorce referendum in Italy grew even more intense on Sunday (21 April) when Christian Democrat Party Secretary, Senator Amintore Fanfani, addressed a large anti-divorce rally in Rome's Piazza del popolo.
voting banner "Si".
"No" Sign (2 shots)
"Si banner TO riot police on standby as people walk to demonstration.
Demonstrators with banners and placards Fanfani. (small man, bald head and glasses).
banner to crowds.
Fanfani addressing demonstrators (speech begins)
Initials AE/2.56 AE/3.15
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The campaign for next month's divorce referendum in Italy grew even more intense on Sunday (21 April) when Christian Democrat Party Secretary, Senator Amintore Fanfani, addressed a large anti-divorce rally in Rome's Piazza del popolo.
The campaign for (and against) Italy's three-year-old divorce laws actually began a month ago, and -- as many politicians feared -- the coming referendum is proving to be extremely divisive for Italy.
Senator Fanfani's speech at the rally was the latest in a series of increasingly-bitter interventions by leading politicians in the campaign. Many observers believe that the governing coalition in Italy, of which the Christian Democrats are the principal partners, may not survive the turmoil that could follow the divorce vote.
Senator Fanfani is believed to be one of the strongest forces behind the call for the reddendum, basing his claims for the abolition of divorce on the inviolability of the family and a healthy society with stable children. However, the majority of political parties have taken the opposite lien to the Senator and his Christian Democrats and are supporting the old divorce laws.
The Vatican has strongly attacked catholics who have announced they intend to vote in favour of divorce next month. There were more than 66,000 divorces in Italy since the country's controversial divorce laws were brought in three years ago.