The new Ethiopian government issued a White Paper - the first of its Kind - on Monday (8 April) outlining a wide range of domestic reforms.
SV INTERIOR Prime Minister ZOOM OUT TO other cabinet ministers at meeting
SV Ministers listening to Prime Minister (2 shots)
SV Prime Minister ZOOM OUT TO GV cabinet seated
CU ZOOM OUT TO GV office workers reading newspapers
SV EXTERIOR citizens looking at papers in street
GV Crowds around news stand
SCU Crowds pushing forward
SV People look on
SCU man climbs through crowd to reach news stand ZOOM OUT TO GV crowd waiting.
SCU ZOOM OUT TO GV people trying to get newspapers
PRIME MINISTER AT CABINET MEETING: CABINET MEMBERS: OFFICE WORKER READING NEWSPAPER: CROWDS TRYING TO BUY NEWSPAPERS.
Initials AE/23.31 AE/23.47
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Background: The new Ethiopian government issued a White Paper - the first of its Kind - on Monday (8 April) outlining a wide range of domestic reforms. In the policy statement, the six-week-old government said it would devote itself to the present economic difficulties and drought problem facing Ethiopia.
The government appealed for public support in its efforts to meet "the challenges of the time" which were the result of "longstanding and cumulative problems which culminated in the crisis leading to the resignation of the Council of Ministerson February 27, 1974."
Referring to the issue of land reform, the statement said that holdings "in excess of what is considered to be a reasonable limit of the owner's capacity to develop with be taken over by the government and distributed to those who will make their living by working on the land." Measures to fight the problems of uneconomic farm units, soil erosion and the lack of modern agricultural equipment were also outlined.
On the economic front, a more equitable tax system, price controls and government measures to create more jobs in agriculture and industry were envisaged.
The main political reform suggested was the institution of a constitutional monarchy, with full government support for the constitutional conference now meeting in Addis Ababa.
On Wednesday (10 April) a joint session of the Ethiopian parliament was adjourned after three hours of desk-banging and shouting after the Prime Minister, Mr. Endalkachew Makonnen, prepared to address the meeting on the proposed reforms. Meanwhile, across the country, wide-spread strikes continue - hitting hospitals, schools, transport and garbage disposal.
SYNOPSIS: A cabinet meeting in Addis Ababa on Monday preceded the publication of a White Paper by the new Ethiopian government. The policy statement - the first of its kind - outlined land reforms and new economic policies. And the Six-week old government called for public support of the measures.
Prime Minister Endalkachew's document also outlined constitutional changes and a foreign policy statement.
On Tuesday, Ethiopians were eager to read newspaper reports of the proposed changes, one of which will allow tenant farmers to buy the land they work on, and encourage others to go into agriculture.
The government also proposed measures to solve the problems of uneconomic farm units, soil erosion and the lack of modern agricultural equipment. On the economic front, the government suggested a more equitable tax system, price controls and a drive to create more jobs on the land and in industry.
Large crowds besieged news stands on Tuesday to buy papers - some people were impatient to get their copies. One of the leading stories was the government decision to support the commission presently meeting in Addis Ababa to look into constitutional reform.
But although the public were keen to read about the reforms, the Ethiopian parliament showed little enthusiasm on Wednesday to hear the Prime Minister speak about the subject.