The most influential of Spain' socialist parties - the P.S.O.E. - began its first Congress?
GV PAN Socialist Congress in progress with platform party standing
GV Willy Brandt addressing congress
CU PSOE leader Felipe Gonzalez listening on platform
MV Brandt speaking at microphone
CU Brandt speaking
MV Delegates listening
CU Michael Foot listening
MV Platform party listening PULL BACK TO GV Brandt speaking
GV Audience applauding
GV Brandt and Gonzales embrace PAN TO audience chanting and waving fists
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Background: The most influential of Spain' socialist parties - the P.S.O.E. - began its first Congress in Spain for 44 years on Sunday (5 December). The opening session was attended by many foreign socialist leader.
SYNOPSIS: The foreign guests pledged their solidarity with Spanish socialists, and the Congress gave assurances to the Spanish Government of its willingness to smooth Spain's path to democracy. The former West German Chancellor, Herr Willy Brandt, was one of the most prominent guest speakers. He is the newly elected President of the Socialist International organisation, and he told the delegates that there could be no lasting peace in Spain without a socialist party.
On the platform listening to Herr Brandt was the leader of the Party, Felipe Gonzalez, a 34 year-old layer from Seville. He told the delegates that the Party's responsibilities ere immense. They could not be satisfied because they still had not achieved a democratic regime in Spain. Britain's leader of the Commons, Michael Foot was among the distinguished audience.
Herr Brandt said that the Congress was an historic moment for Spain - a passing into light after 40 years of darkness. The P.S.O.E. has refused to apply for official recognition from the Government, because they say that all parties - including the banned Communist Party - must be allowed.
But since the death of General Francisco Franco a year ago, the Party has been tolerated and allowed to be active in Spain's new political life.
After his speech, Herr Brandt was congratulated by Felipe Gonzalez. More than two thousand people had packed into the Madrid Hotel where the Congress was held. The opposition parties are currently trying to form a team to discuss with the Government procedures for next year's general election.