Italy Between the 1960’s and 1970’s Part 1
At the beginning of 1961, the political situation of the Italy was saved from the most serious risks of radicalization of the struggle between parties, and of a clash between the right-wing and left-wing blocs, which the country had run into in the fiery months of the summer of 1960, during the unfortunate experience of the Tambroni government, supported by the vote of the Italian Social Movement. The single-color Fanfani, founded on the “parallel convergences” of the parties of secular democracy with the DC, had constituted the instrument capable of restoring the rules of the democratic dialectic, previously undermined or threatened. Not only that: but the same single-color Fanfani, although supported by the votes of the parties of secular democracy, also benefited from the abstention of the socialist party: it was the first time, since 1947, that the socialists did not vote against. A necessary step in view of reaching, through Fanfani himself, a revival of the center-left perspectives. The turning point matured during 1961, materializing in the creation of center-left administrative councils in Milan, Genoa and Florence after the common elections of November 6, 1960: elections which overall confirmed the positions of all parties, with the exception of an increase in the PCI from 23 to 24.5%.
In March 1961 the XXXIV national congress of the PSI, albeit vague and generic in its enunciations, confirmed the majority of the autonomist current. Within nine months, in January 1962, the VIII congress of the DC approved the new political line in Naples with the sole opposition of the centrist wing, led by Scelba and Gonella. Immediately after the Naples congress, Fanfani resigned to establish a new government (his fourth ministry) with the direct participation of the Social Democrats and Republicans and the external support of the Socialists. Within the framework of the international position of the Italy, which the socialists made their own while considering it a premise for the development of detente, the new government proposed, at the level of the great directives of internal politics, to proceed with the implementation of the regions,
In fact, 1962 saw very intense ministerial and parliamentary activity (the nationalization was quickly approved), which was part of the extraordinary recovery of economic development, underway in Italy since 1959. Unfortunately, the basic indication set out was not collected. from La Malfa, Minister of the Budget, in the additional note: an indication tending to involve the large workers’ unions in an organic line of economic planning. Nor was the agreement between the parties broken by the momentary split which took place in May 1962 for the election of the new President of the Republic. When Gronchi’s mandate expired, the DC presented Segni, leader as its official candidate of the Dorothean majority current. But Segni did not obtain all the Christian Democratic votes due to the tenacious dissidence that repeatedly voted for the outgoing president or for Piccioni, and managed to be elected only on the ninth ballot with 443 votes with the decisive contribution of the right against the candidate of the three lay parties center-left, Saragat, supported by the PCI, which obtained 334 votes.
In reality, the expectations of radical renewal of Fanfan’s center-left had to crash on the rock of the political elections, called for April 28, 1963. The electoral campaign presented very different aspects from the previous competitions: on the one hand the DC had shaken and removed large fringes of the moderate electorate, on the other hand the PCI remained the only opposition party on the left. It should be added that the DC founded its electoral campaign on the controversial figure of the Prime Minister, at the sacrifice of the old leaders. of the party, in a hostile or reserve position towards the center-left, while the PCI was able to attract on its emblem the vote of the majority of the large southern emigration to the north (as well as that of emigrants abroad), reversing the trend manifested in the elections precedents, which saw it increasing in the south but decreasing in the north. Despite these premises, the success achieved by the PCI on April 28 – one million more votes than in 1958, and a percentage increase from 22.7 to 25.3% – came unexpectedly and aggravated the result to the detriment of the center. left, whose parties overall dropped from 62.7% in 1958 to 59.6%. While the PSI dropped by 0.5% (from 14.3 to 13.8%), the PRI remained stationary at 1.4%, the PSDI rose by as much as 2.5% from 4.6 to 6, 1%, so that the three secular parties altogether increased from 20, 3 at 21.3%; the DC instead lost 4.1% of the votes, dropping from 42.4 to 38.3%, the lowest point since the advent of the republic. The PLI took advantage of this and doubled its percentage from 3.5 to 7.0%, while the PDIUM suffered a real landslide into which the two monarchical strands of Lauro and Covelli had flowed, dropping from 4.8 to 1, 7%. The MSI increased from 4.8 to 5.1%.
According to Holidaysort, the center-left formula was not successful in the elections, however it revealed itself as the only one possible in the newly opened Parliament. In this sense, the four parties were oriented towards the creation of an organic government with the direct participation of the PSI, entrusted to the secretary of the DC, Moro, in place of Fanfani struck by the reflections of the electoral test. But the painstakingly reached agreement was not approved by the central committee of the PSI, in which the nucleus headed by R. Lombardi broke away from the autonomist current, joining the left. While waiting for the future congress of the party to clarify the positions, a single-color government of the DC was formed chaired by the president of the Chamber G. Leone, which obtained the confidence of the Parliament after the abstention of the secular parties of the center-left. The XXXV national congress of the PSI took place in Rome from 25 to 29 October; Lombardi’s dissidence was temporarily remedied, who was entrusted with the management of Come on! , the autonomist current approved participation in the government with 57.42% of the votes against 39.30% for the leftist current and 2.20% for that of Pertini. Having resigned immediately after the Leone ministry, Moro managed to compose, after a tiring and careful negotiation, the first organic center-left government (with Nenni as vice-presidency) , which easily gained the confidence of Parliament. But in the Chamber 25 deputies of the socialist left, led by Basso, Valori and Vecchietti, abstained; referred to the party’s arbitrators, they refused to appear and convened a national congress of the current for January 12, 1964 which sanctioned the split by proclaiming the foundation of a new party: this took the name that the Italian socialists had already assumed in the immediate post-war period, PSIUP (Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity).