San Marino was in a state of siege today. While the two rival governments of?
San Marino was in a state of siege today. While the two rival governments of the miniature republic each waited in stalemate for the other to make some move, Italian carabinieri blocked the only motor road between Italy and San Marino. Italians, Marinisi, of foreigners, were not permitted to pass in or out.
The only means of getting in or out of the tiny republic was by a long cross-country journey along cart-tracks and through farm yards ankle deep in mud.
The crisis reached an advanced stage after the recognition by the Italian Government of the new San Marinase Christian Democrat Government.
Christian Democrat members, who were formerly affiliated to the leftist parties, have been "camping out" in acute discomfort in a derelict rubber factory at Rovereta. This is a bare and desolate zone of San Marino territory, but only a few yards from the Italian highway. Our cameraman found three members of the Christian Democrat party in conference:-Pietro Giancecchi, Alvaro Casali, and Zaccaria Savoretti; the fourth member of the Government, Professor Higi, was not present and rumour had it that he was away in Rome to define Foreign Affairs policy.
All 31 members of the Parliament had spent a cheerless night on mattresses on the cement floor. There was no heating, water supply or telephone. The concrete building, approached by a heavy steel sliding gate, was guarded by unshaven civilians carrying museum-piece rifles and an occasional pistol of doubtful efficiency. From a chimney stack the blue and white flag of San Marino drooped in the drizzling rain.
During a press conference given by the Social Communist Government, the government which was last elected and so far has not yet resigned, Professor Giacomini, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, set out to prove the "illegality" of the few Christian Democrat group and its unconstitutional state.
At the Government Palace in San Marino parched 2000 feet up on a cloud, mist and rain - shrouded mountain-top, civilians waited to sign on for service in the Popular Militia. They read the official proclamations which covered the walls of buildings everywhere.
The Communist-dominated Government in San Marino tonight cabled an appeal to the United Nations to send an international police force to ensure the safety of the people and protect their "Age-old freedom".