Italian Socialist Leader Bettino Craxi, surprise recipient of a mandate to attempt to form a government, worked with party colleagues on Tuesday night (10 July) to map out the line he should take in dealings with other parties.
GV ZOOM INTO SCU Socialist Party Headquarters in Rome
SV INTERIOR Socialist Party Leader Bettino Craxi and other party members at meeting (2 SHOTS)
SV Party members seated PAN TO Craxi
SV Newsmen taking pictures
SV Craxi continues discussions with party members as newsmen film
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Italian Socialist Leader Bettino Craxi, surprise recipient of a mandate to attempt to form a government, worked with party colleagues on Tuesday night (10 July) to map out the line he should take in dealings with other parties. Political experts rated his chances of success as slim but agreed that the choice of a Socialist was significant.
SYNOPSIS: In Rome, political experts have not rated highly the Socialist Party's chances of success in forming the new government. But the choice of a Socialist was a significant step away from the 30-year domination of Italy's political scene by the Christian Democrats. The Socialist leader Signor Craxi and his colleagues conferred on whether to seek support from the left or fight before beginning consultations with other parties on Wednesday (11 July). The Christian Democrats were expected to drive a hard bargain in any possible negotiations with the Socialists.
Mr Craxi's programme was expected to be the deciding factor in whether his bid for the Premiership succeeds or fails. If he can produce a broadly acceptable plan which would not be actively opposed by the Communists, the Christian Democrats would reportedly find it difficult to oppose him.
Mr Craxi has often said he would not enter a government without the Communists, the second largest party. He planned to meet them on Thursday morning (12 July) and the minor parties later in the day. Meetings with the Christian Democrats on Wednesday (11 July) were to end with Signor Craxi commenting "it was a useful piece of work."