Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro's caretaker government set the date for the country's general elections at a special meeting in Rome on Monday (3 May).
GV Prime Minister's residence
SV PAN prime minister Moro passes cameras surrounded by newsmen
SV and CU-Minister Bonifacio speaks to newsmen (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR minister Cossiga speaks to newsmen as he leaves
SCU PAN treasury minister Colombo walks to car
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Background: Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro's caretaker government set the date for the country's general elections at a special meeting in Rome on Monday (3 May).
Italians will vote on 20 and 21 June in elections which could bring the Communist Party - the biggest in the West -- into government after nearly 30 years in opposition.
The caretaker government handed in its resignation last Friday (30 April). The elections, against a background of economic crisis and a surge in the Communists' electoral showing last year, will be held a year ahead of schedule. They became necessary after Signor Moro's minority christian Democrat government lost the Socialists' and Social Democrats' support.
The Communists could overtake the Christian Democrats to become the biggest party in parliament if, as some opinion polls suggest, they improve on their showing in regional elections last summer. Then they came within two percentage points of the Christian Democrats, who have been in power for 30 years.
The Christian Democrats have been badly shaken by internal power struggles and a series of scandals, including repercussions of the international furore over pay-offs by the giant American Lockheed Aircraft Company.
The economic crisis is marked by accelerating inflation and the fall of the lira on international exchanges.