A three-day conference on the future of democracy has been taking place in Athens -- the city there the concept of democracy was born.
GV PAN FROM Traffic in street TO Greek Parliament building
SV PAN FROM Herman Kahn TO Sean MacBride and Mario Soares (Portuguese Premier), members of the committee for future of democracy
SV PAN Delegates applaud
CU Mario Soares speaking in French
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Background: A three-day conference on the future of democracy has been taking place in Athens -- the city there the concept of democracy was born. Distinguished politicians, writers, lawyers, and economists from many countries debates the problems facing democracies during the conference, which ended on Friday (7 October).
SYNOPSIS: Organised jointly by the Greek government and a French radio station, the debate took place next to the Greek parliament building. Among those taking part have been the American economist, Herman Kahn, Nobel Peace Prize winner Sean MacBride from Ireland, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, Mario Soares. The delegates heard differing views on where democracy is heading, how best to secure its future, and even whether democracy is the right system for the world at the present time. Signor Soares, the Portuguese Premier, was in no doubt. Addressing the conference in French, he said democracy was the only solution for the world's political problems.
The Portuguese, said Mr. Soares, had lived for many years under a dictatorship. They'd been imprisoned, exiled, and persecuted for the cause of democracy. For them, he went on, there was no other option than to continue to fight against tyranny. And he said that the way the Portuguese people had withstood the pressures that might have turned them towards a new dictatorship inspired him with confidence in democracy for the future.