• Short Summary

    ITALY HOLDS A GENERAL ELECTION ON 19 MAY AND THE RESULT COULD CHANGE THE CENTURIES-OLD RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE.

  • Description

    ITALY HOLDS A GENERAL ELECTION ON 19 MAY AND THE RESULT COULD CHANGE THE CENTURIES-OLD RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE.

    THIRTY-SIX MILLION ITALIANS ARE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE FOR A GOVERNMENT WHICH COULD RULE THE COUNTRY FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. FEW EXPECT TO SEE A CHANGE IN THE PRESENT SET UP WHICH HAS SEEN THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS IN POWER SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR II. THEY APPEAR TO BE AS STRONGLY ENTRENCHED AS EVER AND THE OUTGOING PRIME MINISTER, SENOR ALDO MORO, HOPES TO MAINTAIN HIS CENTRE LEFT COALITION WITH THE SOCIALISTS.

    BUT ONE THING THAT MAY SPEEL TROUBLE FOR THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS IS THEIR CLOSE LINK WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - A LINK THAT HAS COME UNDER INCREASING ATTACK BY THE COMMUNISTS AS WELL AS SOCIALIST.

    ADMINISTRATIVE AND EDUCATIONAL REFORMS, DIVORCE AND CHURCH INFLUENCE IN PUBLIC LIFE, DOMINATE THE ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN.

    BUT THE OUTGOING GOVERNMENT'S BIGGEST ASSET IN THE ELECTION IS ITALY'S RECOVERY FROM AN ECONOMIC RECESSION THAT HAD THE COUNTRY ON ITS KNEES IN 1963-64. LAST YEAR NATIONAL INCOMES ROSE BY SIX PER CENT - A RATE FAR BETTER THAN ANY OTHER PARTNER IN THE SIX-NATION COMMON MARKET. MORE FAMILIES THAN EVER BEFORE OWN CARS; HOMES ARE EQUIPPED WITH THE LUXURY ITEMS MORE OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE UNITED STATES.

    THE NEW PROSPERITY HAS SERVED TO UNDERMINE THE TRADITIONAL APPEAL OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY - THE SECOND BIGGEST POLITICAL PARTY IN ITALY. BUT SOME DISENCHANTMENT IS APPARENT WITH STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS FOR UNIVERSITY REFORM; STRIKES IN MAJOR CITIES AND ALLEGATIONS FROM WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF THAT IT WAS LOSING TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE.

    THE COMMUNISTS HAVE MODIFIED THEIR STRATEGY TO COMBAT THE MOUNTING AFFLUENCE. THEY WANT A STATE WITH NO PRIVILEGED IDEOLOGY OR RELIGION. THEY WANT TO REDUCE CHURCH INFLUENCE IN ITALY WHERE CATHOLICISM IS A STATE RELIGION AND ITS BAN ON DIVORCE IS RECOGNISED BY CIVIL COURTS.

    ELECTIONS ARE HELD EVERY FIVE YEARS. AFTER THE 1963 VOTING THE COMPOSITION OF THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES WAS CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS 260; COMMUNISTS 166; SOCIALIST 87; LIBERAL 39; SOCIAL DEMOCRATS 33; NEO-FASCISTS 27; MONARCHISTS 8; REPUBLICANS 6; AND OTHERS 4.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9YO30K2XQE9CIF24GSSFIW2U9
    Media URN:
    VLVA9YO30K2XQE9CIF24GSSFIW2U9
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/05/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:16:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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