May 4—In an historic breakthrough, on April 6 the Italian Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Parliament), approved a motion calling on the government to promote "an international conference at the level of Heads of State and Government, to globally define a new and more just monetary and financial system." (See p.2.) The motion, which was adopted following a spirited, and sometimes heated debate, is a faithful representation of both the analyses and proposals put forward by American economist and political leader Lyndon LaRouche, to whom legislators supporting the motion repeatedly referred, during the Parliamentary debate, as the initiator of the campaign "for a new Bretton Woods." The measure had been drafted by Paolo Raimondi, a representative of the LaRouche movement in Italy, together with Rep. Mario Lettieri, and was cosponsored by 50 MP's from most of the nation's political parties.
The vote on April 6 is just the "first step," as several legislators stressed, in a process of discussion and deliberations on the international financial and economic system, which will continue in Parliament committees in future weeks. And passage came only after a fierce battle, during which an attempt by representatives of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's ruling coalition, to emasculate the motion, was successfully defeated. The debate had resumed after a two-week pause due to the Easter holidays and the regional elections which took place on April 3-4
during which Parliament remained closed.
At the beginning of the second phase of the debate, the government representative, Undersecretary for Parliamentary Affairs Cosimo Ventucci, proposed to take five lines out of the text, which would have destroyed the original intent: Those lines read: "to reach, as soon as possible, together with other nations, the convocation of an international conference at the level of Heads of State and Government similar to that held in Bretton Woods in 1944." Ventucci's attempt was crushed by a broad spectrum of legislators, including members of the government coalition. In particular, representative Alfonso Gianni, from the opposition party Rifondazione Comunista (PRC), and Luigi D'Agrņ, from the government party Christian Democratic Union (UDC), led the pro-LaRouche and anti-globalisation forces to defeat the government attempt. The just-deceased Pope himself was invoked in support of a new just world
The final vote was decidedly in favour, 187-5, with 159 abstentions. These figures show that many members of the government coalition voted with the opposition. In Australia, the Citizens Electoral Council is conducting a mass petition drive to put LaRouche's New Bretton Woods program before our Parliament also.