In Italy, recurring political crises have become - like the ruins of ancient Rome - a part of the normal scene.
GV PAN Trevi Foutain and people.
GV Quirinale Palace.
GV President enters and swears in new government.
GV PAN Street with banners.
GV Platform of Communist public meeting.
GV platform with speaker and crowds applaud.
SV AND ZOOM Woman in corwd applauding.
SV paramilitary supporters with flag PAN GV speaker on Fascist platform.
SV Fascist speaker and crowd applaud.
GV Traffic in street and EXT FIAT Factory.
GV PAN Truck loaded with cars.
GV drum of Dable loaded unto lorry.
SV Men loading tyres onto truck.
GV Post office and public service strike scenes. (3 shots)
GV Market with meat and vegetable stalls.
HV PAN Signor Rumor arrives and announces new government.
Initials VS 21.03 VS 21.26
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Background: In Italy, recurring political crises have become - like the ruins of ancient Rome - a part of the normal scene. But even Italians are concerned about the current state of their nation. It thirty-sixth government since the war has just been replaced by yet another patched-up centre-left coalition and the Italian economy is plunging into almost total chaos.
Name almost any problem besetting the world's industrial nations - and Italy has them all, but worse. A huge external trade deficit, roaring inflation, political violence, almost daily strikes, the highest absenteeism rate in Europe and a clogged and inefficient bureaucracy.
Symptomatic of Italy's disarray is the power of its two extreme political parties. The nation has the largest Communist parts in Europe outside the Soviet Union. And it has a large, violent and disruptive neo-Fascist party. The clashes between the two result in frequent bomb outrages, demonstrations and strikes.
For the past thirty years, power has been held by the centre party, the Christian Democrats, more recently in coalition with Socialists. The inability of any party to govern on its own has resulted in a plethora of politics and an absense of action.
Even in the middle of the worst crisis Italy has ever known, the government hesitates to introduce the package of austere measures the country needs if it is going to out its import bill and put its economy back on a sound footing, and retrieve its international credibility.
As it is, the nation is practically bankrupt. The economic and industrial miracle which made Italy the great growth nation of the Fifties and early Sixties has been destroyed by militant unions which have made the instant strike a part of Italian daily life.
Such is the scale of Italy's disaster that the alarm has spread through its fellow members of the European community and to the capital of most other industrial nations in the West. In Washington last week, finance ministers of the world's Top Ten Western nations decided to revalue the price of gold and thereby enabled Italy to quadruple the value of its gold reserves. With this gift, it may be able to buy and borrow its way out of trouble.
But the basic causes of Italy's trouble will still remain. Political in-fighting is no substitute for the fiscal and social reform Italy badly needs. Nearly everyone recognises that, and no-one more so than the Governor of the Bank of Italy, Dr. Guido Carli, who demanded of the previous government a massive credit squeeze and tax increases.
But the Socialists in the government coalition refuse to approve a policy which would bring widespread unemployment. So the government reached impasse - and resigned.
Now, the same Christian Democrat leader, Snr. Mariano Rumor, is forming yet another administration. But the big question is whether the next government will have the will-power to apply the shock treatment needed to bail Italy out of its eternal crises and restore its credibility abroad.