In Italy, substantial price increases for goods and services are scheduled to come into effect in January and Italians have been told by their Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, in a nationwide television broadcast recently, that they will be called upon to "bear with still more sacrifices".
GV "Palazzo Ghigi" in Rome, Italy
SV PAN Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti enters building, followed by other ministers (2 shots)
SV Post Office building ZOOM OUT TO GV
GV Food market (3 shots)
CU Prices at meat stand
SV Meat stall PAN TO shopper (4 shots)
SV Garage forecourt ZOOM IN TO price on pump, customer on forecourt (3 shots)
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Background: In Italy, substantial price increases for goods and services are scheduled to come into effect in January and Italians have been told by their Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, in a nationwide television broadcast recently, that they will be called upon to "bear with still more sacrifices".
SYNOPSIS: Signor Andreotti's government has been grappling with serious inflation, unemployment and a rising balance of trade deficit for some time now and each week Italians have been told to expect definitive measures to bring the situation under control. There have been rumours of rationing, but this has not so far materialised. However telephone, electricity and car insurance bills will rise from between 12 to 25 per cent in the New Year.
Other public services will also become more expensive and seven national holidays have been axed from the calendar in efforts to boost productivity. But it is the consumption of meat that is one of the heaviest burdens on Italy's balance of payments and unless this is somehow reduced the economy will not recover. Discussions are still going on between economic advisers and members of the government on the possibility of meat rationing in the New Year.
But in the meantime prices continue to rise -- and will do so again during the early days of 1977. Despite this gloomy situation though, visitors to Italy are amazed at the country's apparent affluence. During the Christmas shopping rush stores, supermarkets and restaurants were as busy as they've ever been.
Another commodity that is also causing serious headaches for Italy's economic experts is -- inevitably -- petrol. Massive price rises and the possibility of rationing loom for the New Year. But even though petrol sales dropped by 18 per cent in October, the streets of Rome are still jammed with cars burning the precious liquid, which even today costs GBP 1.40 sterling per gallon. (2.38 U.S. dollars per gallon or 31 pence sterling (52 U.S. cents) per litre.)