Felipe Gonzalez, whose socialist party, PSOE, won the second largest number of seats in last month's general elections, - has urged that the Cortes (parliament) should begin sitting as soon as possible to deal with Spain's urgent problems.
GV EXTERIOR: Palace of Congress building
SV INTERIOR: Felipe Gonzalez seated with other members of Socialist Party addressing newsmen with photographers watching (3 shots)
GV: news conference
MV: Gonzalez addressing newsmen (3 shots)
He said the parliamentary group has decided that the commencement of the functions of the Cortes is most urgent - not only for reasons of immediate constitutional matters, but because the country's political and economic life also demands the presence of Cortes to discuss all the important matters of the country. Therefore, as far as we are concerned, any type of holidays this summer must be excluded for members of the Cortes. The socialist leader - who often attacked the press and the media during his electoral campaign - was asked about the possibility of a nationalized press.
He replied: "we believe there should be a system of control, which could be through Parliament and Parliamentary representations or through organisations not parliamentary in the strict sense - such as professional groups or some institutional organization. As far as the former Press of the movement - on whose position I am not quite clear at present - there is a move on the part of the Government to make it into an institutional press. The fact is that, until now, the Party does not wish to risk a specific reply - as the subject is most delicate. There is not a single institutionalized press in the world which does not function as the Government's mouthpiece, or which is not tempted to slide into becoming such a Government mouthpiece. We would primarily launch a formula of control for that press, with the support of public funds - but this is only an idea we have put forward, as the risk of error in this area is very grave. On the other hand, there are many respectable interests within the group of communication media represented by the Press of the former Movement - made up of workers and professionals, and therefore I feel one must be very careful to give an adequate reply which will benefit the whole country."
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Background: Felipe Gonzalez, whose socialist party, PSOE, won the second largest number of seats in last month's general elections, - has urged that the Cortes (parliament) should begin sitting as soon as possible to deal with Spain's urgent problems. He suggested at a news conference that its members should forego a summer holiday. Senor Gonzalez said that non-government groups, acting through parliament in some way, should exercise a system of control over the Press and media.