Italy's Radical Party says it now has enough support for its ten-point liberalisation plan to have it put to a national referendum.
G/V: Street scene in Rome showing the Italian Parliament building in background
G/V: Desk on city street with public signing referenda
C/U Pull back G/V signatures being written on sheets of paper
S/CU Referenda poster on desk
S/V: Italians signing referenda (2 shots)
C/U Pull back to G/V Party Workers talk to those signing (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Italy's Radical Party says it now has enough support for its ten-point liberalisation plan to have it put to a national referendum. Petitions supporting the plan, which calls for the abolition of many of the country's laws including special police, weapons and drugs legislation, have been set before the Piazza Cavour court in Rome.
SYNOPSIS: The Radical Party stepped up its campaign in the streets of Rome on Wednesday (25 June). They received some help from the Social Party in a last minute effort to bolster the campaign.
The Radicals say each petition has the necessary half a million signatures to go to the vote. They call for the abolition of special police laws set up by Government last year and of life imprisonment as a punishment for crime. Crime of opinion is an old law left by the fascists and that, say the Radicals, must also go along with military courts for military crimes, permits for privately owned weapons, and hunting. Among the laws they want liberalised are those relating to the drugs marijuana and hashish and abortion so that minors have the right to abort without parental consent. The siting of nuclear power plants should be left to provincial Government they say, and the Guardia Di Finanzia (the customs police) should be demilitarised.
The petitions follow the arrest last October of the Radical Party's Secretary General, Jean Fabre, who was charged with smoking and dispensing cannabis, a crime which carries a maximum sentence of up to thirty four years in goal.
The special police laws introduced last year have been the subject of controversy. They give the police the right to hold suspected terrorists for up to twelve years without trial. The abortion laws only recently have been repealed but according to the Radicals they still are too restrictive.