Signor Giulio Andreotti, the Christian Democrat Prime Minister of Italy, has resigned. He had lost?
MV: Giulio Andreotti speaking to press, ZOOM IN TO SCU.
MV: Andreotti enters room and meets President Leone
CU: Leone, CU Andreotti ZOOM OUT TO two seated.
CU: newspaper headlines, SV man on cycle reading (3 shots)
SV: communist supporters celebrating result. (2 shots)
SV: bread sold in shop
SV: petrol pump attendant sells petrol.
LV: trade union march CU banner
SV: Union leader Lama (with pipe) in procession.
GV: marchers with banners, GV mass meeting. (2 shots)
GV: car burning, SV demonstrators arrested (3 shots)
CU: Benigno Zaccagnini ZOOM OUT TO him seated with Enrico Berlinguer, they talk and shake hands (3 shots)
GVs all-party meeting in session. (3 shots)
MV: Amintore Fanfani addressing meeting.
SV: French journalist puts question, PAN TO Andreotti answering in French.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Signor Giulio Andreotti, the Christian Democrat Prime Minister of Italy, has resigned. He had lost the support of three other political parties which were keeping his minority government in office. But it is expected in Rome that President Leone will now ask to try to form another government.
SYNOPSIS: Signor Andreotti is a highly experienced politician of 59, who first held junior ministerial office as long ago as 1947. He has been Minister of the Interior, of Finance, and Defence, and was Prime Minister for a year between 1972 and 1973.
In July 1976, President Leone asked him to form a government after an inconclusive general election, which had left the Christian Democrats as the largest single party in the Chamber of Deputies, but only just. It was far short of having an over-all majority.
The result meant that Signor Andreotti's government could only survive with tacit Communist support, which has now been withdrawn. The Communists had hoped to become the largest single party. They failed, but came only 34 seats behind the Christian Democrats.
Italy was then suffering from severe inflation. Signor Andreotti undertook to bring the rate down, as a condition of a 500-million dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund. He introduced a stringent austerity programme. This brought militant protests from the trade union movement, which was concerned about the rising level of unemployment.
Communists, like the union leader Luciano Lama, were in the forefront of the protest. And the government's alleged economic shortcomings are the grounds of which the Communist Party is now demanding seats in a new emergency government.
There is also a growing demand for the restoration of law and order. Extremists of left and right clash repeatedly in the streets of Rome. The number of political murders and kidnappings is rising.
The Secretary General of the Christian Democrats, Benigno Zaccagnini, in conference with the Communist Party leader, Enrico Berlinguer, At first, the Communists had agreed simply to abstain in crucial votes, so as not to bring down the Andreotti government. Then Signor Berlinguer called for an agreed policy and legislative programme.
In July of last year, five political parties, including the Communists and Socialists agreed with the government on a series of policies they would all support. Now three parties, the Communists, Socialists and Republicans, are dissatisfied with the result and are pressing for places in the government.
This would be unacceptable to the Christian Democrat right, who may rally round the former Prime Minister, Amintore Fanfani. His name has been mentioned as a possible alternative if Signor Andreotti fails to form another government.
Although he has refused the left-wing parties immediate seats in his government, Signor Andreotti has so far declined to comment on possible compromise solutions. There have been suggestions that he might offer them non-Cabinet posts, or bring in non-political experts acceptable to them. The crisis may take weeks to resolve.