In Rome on Saturday (14 January), the leaders of Italy's Communist and Socialist parties presented Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti with no option but resign.
SCU INT. Republican Party Secretary Oddo Biasini speaking to newsmen
CU Roberto Balsamo of the Socialist Party Central Committee speaking to newsmen.
SV Communist Party Whip Alessandro Natta talking to newsmen.
Before Prime Minister Andreotti resigns on Monday he will hold a final Cabinet meeting. Then he will go to Rome's Quirinale Palace to formally hand in his resignation to President Leone. Whoever is invited to form a new government will head Italy's 40th since the last World War. If the parties fail to reach a compromise agreement on a government, observers say this will prompt a call for early elections. Italy's last general elections were held in June 1976.
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Background: In Rome on Saturday (14 January), the leaders of Italy's Communist and Socialist parties presented Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti with no option but resign. The two parties, along with the small middle-of-the-road Republican Party, formally withdrew the indirect support that has Kept Mr. Andreotti's minority Christian Democratic government in power since it was formed 17 months ago. Mr. Andreotti was due to hand in his resignation to Italian President Giovanni Leone on Monday (16 January). But observers expert him to be invited to form another government.
SYNOPSIS: A delegation from the small Republican party, led by Party Secretary, Mr. Oddo Biasini, was the first group to call on Prime Minister Andreotti at his Rome offices on Saturday to tell him they were withdrawing their support. Afterwards Mr. Biasini explained to newsmen that they wanted the setting up of an emergency government with cabinet posts for left-wing politicians. The minority Christian Democrat Government of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti was the country's 39th since the creation of the Italian Republic after World War Two. In recent weeks it has been under mounting pressure from economic problems and a wave of extremist violence. And the Republican and left-wing parties have found increasing opportunities to attack its performance.
A leading member of the Italian Socialist party, Mr. Roberto Balsamo, was the next to leave the Prime Minister's office. In a brief interview with newsmen, he, too, emphasised the need for an emergency government and for a direct say by Socialists in decision making at cabinet level. That is something that veteran members of the Christian Democrat party have strongly resisted, and until now their resistance has been given moral support by the United States government, which wants to see Communist influence in Western Europe reduced. Political observers, however, say that if Mr. Andreotti is given the chance to form another government he will have to bring the left-wing parties into a formal Parliamentary majority.
The leader of the Communist Party delegation, party Whip Mr. Alessandro Natta, was one of the most vocal when he left the prime minister after his round of talks. He told newsmen that it was absolutely necessary for Italy to have an emergency government composed of all the supporting parties. Mr. Natta said that the country had to overcome, what he described as the limits and weaknesses of one-party government.