The Italian Communist Party, bolstered by its biggest general election gains since the second world war, has renewed its claim for a role in central government.
SVs People in rome streets reading newspapers with election results headlined (6 shots)
GVs Communist supporters outside Rome headquarters cheering municipal results (5 shots)
SV Communist Party spokesman, Giorgio Napolitano speaks
GV & SV Milan Stock Exchange (2 shots)
SV Stock Exchange directory board
GV Clock showing time and date (22 June)
GV & SV Noisy activity inside Stock Exchange
The Communists were the only party to gain substantially in the election. They won an additional 48 seats while most of the rest have lost seats. The Christian Democrats lost three, the Socialists four, the neo-fascists 21, the Social Democrats 14, the Liberals 15 and the Republicans one. Newcomers are the Radicals with four seats, and the far left-wing Party of Proletarian Democracy with six.
NAPOLITANO: "We said during the election campaign that we are ready to take our responsibilities, inside a broad coalition government and we repeat it now. According to us this would be the best solution for the Italian political crisis."
REPORTER: "But the Communists are ready to join a government?"
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Background: The Italian Communist Party, bolstered by its biggest general election gains since the second world war, has renewed its claim for a role in central government. But the call was firmly rejected by the christian Democrats, which voters confirmed at the weekend (June 20-21) as the biggest single political force in Italy.
SYNOPSIS: Despite headlines which claimed victory for both the Communists and the actual figures still showed a lead for the Christian Democrats. They managed to limit their losses to three seats. Although the Communists made major gains, winning 78 parliamentary seats, they still won less overall
Meanwhile, Communist gains weren't restricted to national level. Celebrating Communists again took to the streets on Wednesday (23 June) when the results of Rome's municipal elections became known. They had won the largest number of votes. But on the national scene the real question now is whether the Christian Democrats will bow to pressure from the Communists to share government. A Communist Party spokesman, Giorgio Napolitano, says there's no alternative other than a coalition.
But the Christian Democrats' good showing in the election had little effect on the Milan Foreign Exchange Market. Dealers reported no change in the standing of the Lira, which opened on the day at 853 to the U.S. dollar, the same as the last day of trading before the election. Many of Milan's bankers had feared that a Communist victory would prove had for the Lira.