EDEN PICTURE IN POSTER BATTLE
ENLARGED photographs of Sir Anthony Eden and Marshal Bulganin signing the communique at the close of the B. and K. visit to Britain are providing ammunition in the poster war between Christian Democrats and the Communists in the municipal elections which will be held all over Italy on May 27.
In Rome visitors are bewildered to see almost every building and monument they have come to see covered with a blanket of election posters.
The heat of the political battle is being felt in almost every home, every street and in almost every conversation.
The Christian Democrats are using to the full the condemnation of Stalin by those who were his friends. Stalin's portrait glares out from many a wall as a warning to Italians not to vote for a party whose leaders arc tarred with the same brush.
The Communists are countering with the pictures of Sir Anthony Eden and Marshal Bulganin as " proof " that the iron Curtain is a thing of the past, that the era of atrocities is over and the time has come for discussion and friendship.
The Vatican City newspaper Osservarore Romano declares that what is at stake in the elections is more a matter of a spiritual and human victory than of a party victory.
Rome itself is more than ever the biggest prize in the elections.
The Communists. who lost the 1951 elections by the narrow mar gin of 60,000 votes. have been joining forces with the Socialists in a hard drive for victory.
The Christian Democrats, who won 40 per cent. of the votes in 1953, are not over-confident from that victory or from recent trends indicated in the Communists' defeats in trade union elections in northern Italy.
Cardinal Micara, the Holy Father's Vicar General for Rome, has asked the Catholics of the City
to offer fervent prayers throughout the election campaign period for the Pope's intentions and that " the Christian face of Rome may be preserved."
Cardinal Lercaro, Archbishop of Bologna—once known as the " Red City "—and three other Bishops have issued a pastoral tetter telling their people that they will be committing a grave sin if they vote for Communists.
They also warn the people against voting for the Socialist Party or " whatever parties, programmes and persons who, in principle or action, are in contradiction to Catholic doctrine and the law of God and the Church."
Cardinal Siri. Archbishop of Genoa, and other Bishops in the region have also warned the faithful against voting for Communist, Socialist, or other parties or persons who " are in contrast with the Catholic doctrine and the law of God."