French Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand, facing increasing provocation from his Communist Party partners, carefully avoided any showdown that could jeopardise the troubled left-wing alliance at a Paris news conference on Thursday (13 February).
SV Mitterrand enters and seated (MUTE)
GV Reporters (NATURAL SOUND)
CU Mitterrand speaking
TRANSCRIPT: MITTERRAND (SEQ 3): 'Let me remind you that the Socialist Party is engaged in a common programme. But this is a programme of government -- effective only from the time when the French people elect a left-wing majority to the National Assembly. So it's not the role of any of the three parties who signed the common programme to set themselves up to judge -- and condemn -- the two others.
'I'm not making any criticism of the personal character of any leasers of the Communist Party, in view of the fact that they were chosen by their own party, and it's not the business of the Socialists to tell the Communists how to run their own affairs. I repeat that I won't allow myself to doubt, because of certain attitudes prior to May, 1974, the political leaders alongside whom I proposed a new policy and political alliance which received the approval of 13 million Frenchmen.'
Initials BB/1850 TH/CD/BB/1905
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Background: French Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand, facing increasing provocation from his Communist Party partners, carefully avoided any showdown that could jeopardise the troubled left-wing alliance at a Paris news conference on Thursday (13 February).
M. Mitterrand had been widely expected to hit back against recent personal attacks by Communist leader Georges Marchais. But he deliberately withhold any major counter-attacks, dismissing allegations by the Communists that his party is out to weaken and destroy them.
This was how M. Mitterrand described his attitude to the three-year old alliance between the left-wing parties: