General Motion Approved by the XIIIth Congress of the PR

General Motion Approved by the XIIIth Congress of the PR
Verona, November 1,2,3, 1973

ABSTRACT: The Verona Congress of November 1973 examines the contents and the forms of the referendum project approved by the preceding extraordinary congress. From the packet of proposals, four groups of issues are selected (from which will arise the "eight referendums against the regime"): Concordat, crimes of opinion, military courts, freedom of the press. During the debate there are some reservations and perplexity about the technical possibility of realising such an ambitious project. But the
active participation of the extra-parliamentary groups with their newspapers and their much-vaunted broad militancy seems to be a guarantee of resolving the technical and organisational problems. In point of fact, the commitments will not be maintained and the Radicals will have to bear the entire burden of collecting signatures for the referendums. The Congress elects Giulio Ercolessi as First Secretary and a Secretariat composed of: Liliana Ingargiola, Roberto Della Rovere, Giuseppe Ramadori, Rolando Parachini, Massimo Teodori, Gianfranco Spadaccia, and Andrea Torelli.
("The Battles, the Victories and the Proposals of the Radicals as Seen in the Documents of Their Congresses and Their Statutes" - November 1985 - Edited by Maurizio Griffo - Pamphlet Published by the Treasury of the Radical Party)


The XIIIth National Congress of the Radical Party, held in Verona the 1,2,3 of November, confirms the analysis of the Italian political situation contained in the general motion of the preceding Turin Congress in 1972 and proved accurate by recent political events. The Congress, having taken note of the development of the political project to convene a series of abrogatory referendums against the regime; of the convergences on this project expressed at the Rome Congress last July by Manifesto, Lotta Continua, the Partito di Unità Proletaria, Avanguardia Operaia, and the Pc-ml; of the hundreds of commitments from unionists and politicians, from protagonists of lay culture, the professions, the legal world, of believers and non-believers from the Committee for an Authentically Constitutional Republic; decides that a campaign for the collection of signatures be
undertaken in the course of 1974 so that eight referendums to abrogate norms can be held in Italy in 1975, the necessity of which abrogations is by now almost universally recognised. It is a question of norms injurious to basic civil rights and whose continuance stamps the society and the Republic as authoritarian and corporative.

The proposed referendums regard:

a) concerning the Concordat:
article 1 of the May 7, 1929 law, no. 810. with reference to the articles of the pact concerning matters of the Concordat and the most significant and unconstitutional articles of the Concordat that codify the granting to clerics of power within the Italian State and society, and that furnish the hierarchy with instruments of temporal power damaging to believers.

Articles 17 and 22 of the May 27, 1929 law, no.847, that, with the recognition of the civil effects of ecclesiastical sentences of marriage annulments under the Concordat, attribute an inadmissible privilege to the Catholic Church (until the Fortuna law, a real and true monopoly) in marriage affairs, in the name of which the claim of the unconstitutionality of the divorce law is maintained.

b) concerning penal law:
the articles of the penal code that most clearly reflect the authoritarian and fascist ideas that inspired that code, and in particular the crimes of opinion; the norms on recidivism, habitualness, delinquency as a profession and as a tendency and the relative security norms, that contradict the constitutional principles of the presumed innocence of the defendant and of the rehabilitating nature of the sentence, impede de facto restoring the convicts to civil life and productivity and create new criminality; the norms that reflect an arcane idea of family life and discourage the condition of women, such as the so-called crime of honour and the nullification of sexual crimes by subsequent marriage, the preferential treatment of violence when used as a corrective measure in regard to family members; furthermore the crime of "plagiarism" (robbing someone of his personality through undue influence, ed.), the crime of abortion performed upon a consenting woman and the other crimes connected to this; the most us
eless, inhuman, classist aggravating factors
relating to crimes of theft; crimes that put the citizen into a particularly inferior position with regard to the authorities; the norms for penalties and fines that regard public theatrical productions, shows, the press, etc.

c) concerning the military code:
the military penal code in peacetime (di pace) and the military judicial ordinances that largely contain anti-constitutional norms that repress and impede the exercise of fundamental human and civil rights by citizens in uniform.

d) concerning freedom of the press:
the norms instituting the Ordine dei Giornalisti (Journalists' Guild) that make exercising the fundamental right of freedom of the press dependent upon being enrolled in the journalists' register and at the same time limit the freedom and the independence of the professionals who are enrolled in such registers.
the legal norms governing the press which journalists' representatives, parliamentary groups, and political parties all recognise to be in need of revision and which for twenty five years no one has dedicated himself to modifying; the norms of the laws that guarantee a government monopoly on television and also permit the prohibition of cable television.
The Congress gives a mandate to the party's new administrative organs to complete the technical aspects and the definitive texts for presenting the request for the referendum to the Supreme Court of Appeals and to decide on the manner of its presentation.
The Congress makes an appeal to all the unions, to democratic political groups, to lay and Socialist parliamentarians and
extra-parliamentarians, to reformers and revolutionaries, to free and informed public opinion, to workers and to believers who reject clerical power in the State and in society and who demand ecclesiastical and religious renewal, to all the minorities, to unite their energies with the Radicals to administer the action and allow it to succeed.