Italy's new minority Christian Democrat Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti, is in a precarious position of power -- relying on the Communist Party for survival.
SV INTERIOR Italian Premier Andreotti shakes hands with Italian President Leone and two men sit for talks
CU Leone, ZOOM OUT TO Andreotti
CU Andreotti ZOOM OUT TO Leone
SV INTERIOR new ministers being sworn in and shaking hands with Leone (6 shots)
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Background: Italy's new minority Christian Democrat Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti, is in a precarious position of power -- relying on the Communist Party for survival.
SYNOPSIS: Signor Andreotti led his government to President Giovanni Leone's residence on Friday (July 30) for the swearing in. The two leaders talked briefly before the ceremony. The new administration took office after a three-month absence of government.
The new regime has no majority in parliament, and will be able to survive only if the Communists abstain on crucial votes. This gives the Communists, who won 229 of the 630 seats in Parliament, more power than they have ever before enjoyed, being able to bring down Signor Andreotti's government simply by voting with his opposition.
The Christian Democrats won 262 seats in the last election -- less than half of the total. Signor Andreotti, who named 22 ministers on Friday and 47 more the following day, can only count on his own party in parliament. The Christian Democrats' traditional allies -- Socialists, Republicans, and Social Democrats -- have all said they will abstain in parliamentary votes.
The Communist Party did not immediately announce its official attitude towards the new government, but was expected to abstain in a parliamentary vote of confidence due within a week. Italy's western allies, meanwhile, particularly West Germany and the United States, have expressed their concern at the possibility of Communists being granted cabinet posts. In the new parliament, Communists have taken control of seven permanent parliamentary committees, giving them valuable power in deciding the fate of new legislation, and the President of the House, the Speaker, is also a Communist.