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May 26
1981: Italian government resigns
[ 2009-05-26 09:32 ]

May 26
The scandal over the P2 lodge is thought to involve many eminent figures
1981: Italian government resigns

England have

The Italian cabinet has resigned following the scandal over the alleged activities of a secret Masonic Lodge.

The collapse of Arnaldo Forlani's coalition government looked imminent after his Socialist allies boycotted a meeting called by the prime minister.

The Italian Communist Party had said it would call for a no-confidence vote in parliament unless the government resigned overrevelationsthat several prominent politicians were members of the P2 (Propaganda Two) Masonic Lodge.

The Minister of Justice Adolfo Sarti resigned last week amid allegations that he had applied for admission to the lodge.

Senator Sarti has denied he made any attempt to join P2 and, in a letter to the prime minister, said he had been forced out of government because his name was tainted in a "slanderouscampaign".

'Secret society'

Two other ministers and 30 MPs have been included in a list of alleged members of P2, which is now under investigation.

P2 is one of more than 520 Masonic lodges which belong to the Grand Orient of Italy, the principal Masonic organisation in the country.

The lodge has been described as "a state within a state" amid allegations that it plotted to carry out a right-wing coup in Italy.

A three-man commission appointed by the government has been set up to establish whether the lodge was a "secret society" of a type banned under the constitution.

Prime Minister Forlani has met with President Sandro Pertini to submit the resignation of the cabinet following a meeting with his ministers earlier in the day.

The Cabinet session took longer than normal because urgent economic decrees had to be approved first.

The prime minister thanked his ministers for their work before driving to the presidential palace.

Flaminio Piccoli, secretary of the Christian Democrats, said: "Membership of the party and adherence to the Freemasons cannot be other than incompatible."

Freemasonry is not illegal in Italy and there are believed to be up to 200,000 members.

However, it is associated with anti-Roman Catholic Church activities and Pope John Paul II has explicitly condemned the secret society.

May 26
Fifty years on, there is still widespread anger at Japanese brutality towards British PoWs during the war

1998: Veterans reject Japanese 'sorrow'

Artificially 1969:
The Emperor Akihito of Japan has spoken of his "deep sorrow and pain" over the suffering inflicted by his country during World War II, but did not apologise for the treatment of prisoners in work camps.

Addressing a state banquet at Buckingham Palace, attended by the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Mother and 11 other senior Royals, the Emperor said he could "never forget" the many kinds of suffering experienced by so many.

"The Empress and I can never forget the many kinds of suffering so many people have undergone because of that war." Emperor Akihito of Japan said.

War veterans said that Emperor Akihito had not gone far enough and demanded a "real, meaningful apology."

They are angry with Japan over its refusal to offer more substantial compensation and a full apology for their suffering during the war.

Backs turned to the emperor

Earlier, in a gesture of contempt, former prisoners of war turned their backs on Emperor Akihito and whistled the wartime anthem Colonel Bogey as he rode with the Queen in a Royal carriage down The Mall.

Later, outside nearby Westminster Abbey where the emperor laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a memorial to the dead of World War I, around 500 protesters repeated their protest, turning their backs and humming Colonel Bogey again.

Under the post-war Japanese constitution, Emperor Akihito is a non-political figurehead and, as such, cannot formally apologise for the suffering inflicted by the Japanese imperial army.

But in the banquet speech on Tuesday, delivered in Japanese, he came close to saying sorry.

"It truly saddens me, however, that the relationship so nurtured between our two countries should have been marred by the Second World War.

"The Empress and I can never forget the many kinds of suffering so many people have undergone because of that war.

At the thought of the scars of war that they bear, our hearts are filled with deep sorrow and pain. All through our visit here, this thought will never leave our minds.

We sincerely hope that such a history will never be repeated between our two nations."


revelation:the act of revealing or disclosing;something disclosed(揭露,被揭露的事)


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