In Rome on Saturday (28 January) a three-day meeting of the central committee of Italy's powerful Communist Party ended with members backing the call of party secretary for Communist participation in a new Italian government.
EXT GV: Communist Party headquarters in Rome.
INT CU: Communist Party emblem on wall, PULL BACK TO GV Party members entering through door.
MV: (Unidentified) Elderly member enters building.
MV: Members enter building
MV: Communist Party Secretary Enrico Berlinguer enters building.
CU PULL BACK TO MV: Berlinguer addressing meeting.
MV PAN: Audience listening.
CU: Berlinguer speaking.
GV PAN: Audience listening.
MV PULL BAK TO GV: Berlinguer speaking.
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Background: In Rome on Saturday (28 January) a three-day meeting of the central committee of Italy's powerful Communist Party ended with members backing the call of party secretary for Communist participation in a new Italian government. For the past two weeks Italy has been without a government since the fall of the minority administration of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti and his Christian Democratic party. The Communists, who helped bring down the Andreotti government, want cabinet sates in a new coalition government. But so far the Christian Democrat have reject their demands.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting of the Communist Party's central committee took place in the party's headquarters in Rome.
It was convened to discuss the current political crisis in Italy. One hundred and eighty delegates attended the conference which, observers said, was marked by a harder line one co-operation with the Christian Democrat Party. This was a change from their policy of the last 17 months in which the Communists helped the Christian Democrats stay in power.
The Communist Party leader, Enrico Berlinguer, who had supported the previous policy, was later to show that he was in favour of a tougher attitude.
In a keynote speech to the meeting he branded the Christian Democrats' refusal to form a coalition government with cabinet posts for Communist, as absurd and unacceptable. He also suggested that a government excluding the Christian Democrats, could be formed among the left-wing parties, if the current deadlock continued.
The Communists, who control nearly a third of the popular vote in Italy, have not held any cabinet positions in an Italian government since 1974. They have been kept out by the Christian Democrats who have received support for their stand from successive United States' governments.