The former West German Chancellor and first ever President of the socialist International, Herr Willy Brandt, has said that some Communist parties appear willing to experiment with democracy.
GV PAN INTERIOR: congress hall with delegates seated. (2 shots)
CU PAN ALONG: Socialist International posters. (2 shots)
SV: Portuguese Prime Minister, Dr. Mario Soares taking seat.
SV ZOOM IN TO CU: French Socialist leader Monsieur Francois Mitterand seated. (wearing glasses)
MCU: Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Yitzhak Rabin seated.
CU: Former West German Chancellor Herr Willy Brandt, first President of the Socialist International seated.
GV: delegates seated at congress.
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Background: The former West German Chancellor and first ever President of the socialist International, Herr Willy Brandt, has said that some Communist parties appear willing to experiment with democracy. The leader of West Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party and a Nobel Peace Prize winner raised the theme of relations with Communist parties in a speech to the opening session of a three-day Socialist International congress in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday (26 November).
SYNOPSIS: The role of Communist parties in western Europe is being watched closely by the Socialist International, Interest centres on the Communist parties of Italy, France, Portugal and Spain. Two weeks ago the Portuguese Communist Party re-affirmed its hardline polices. The leadership emphatically rejected any shift towards a more liberal "Euro-Communism" and attacked unnamed foreign Communist parties who criticised the Portuguese Communists allegiance to Moscow.
The Portuguese Communists have predicted that the Socialist minority government of Prime Minister, Dr. Mario Soares, will fall after next month's local government elections. And they have called for a Socialist-Communist alliance to replace it.
Some Socialists -- including the French led by Monsieur Francois Mitterrand -- have cooperated with the Communists and now have a common political front.
Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, was also present in Geneva. His government has no links with the Communists who have only one seat in the Israeli parliament.
However, Herr Brandt, suggested that all Social democrats must understand the realities of Communism today. The former Chancellor said that since the end of World War Two some Communist parties seemed willing to expose themselves to democracy.