Italy Between the 1960’s and 1970’s Part 10
Bad mood snaking since the administrative of the previous June for the results not in line with hopes; feeling of being progressively marginalized from driving the country, because of the increasing consensus that the action of the Moro-La Malfa cabinet was able to gather among the social forces (from the entrepreneurial classes to the trade union centers) and within the PCI, carefully participating in the work of economic recovery undertaken; certainty of the existence in public opinion of a vast “socialist area”, eager to express its support for a PSI not subordinate to the two major parties, but itself the protagonist both of their rapprochement, and of a possible future political change that brought the left to power, relegating the DC to opposition. These were some of the most important reasons that had determined the initiative of De Martino’s party, all bearing in the background the desire, more or less confessed,
It was still up to the Hon. Moro attempting to mend the ranks of a government coalition, which immediately clashed with the peremptory socialist request to directly involve the PCI in governmental responsibilities: a condition that the DC was certainly not able to accept and that the Communist Party itself believed premature. As the country reacted negatively to this new lack of political leadership at such a dire time for the economy, the lira plunged into a dizzying fall in its exchange rates against the dollar and other hard currencies, forcing the resigning government to take immediate measures to restrict monetary liquidity. And the discomfort and distrust were made more acute by the wave of scandals,
After 34 days of confused and tormented crisis, on 11 February, A. Moro positively dissolved the reserve and submitted to the President of the Republic the list of ministers of a new single-color cabinet DC, which followed the previous government structure except for the replacement of the republican ministers and the passage of the Interiors from Gui, involved in the recent scandals, to F. Cossiga. Ten days later, the government received the confidence of the Chamber with the yes of the DC and the PSDI and the abstention of PSI, PRI and PLI.
According to Travelationary, an intense season of congresses of some majority parties began in March: the PSI began, on day 3, with its 40th national assembly, which saw the party unanimously agree on the motion presented by its secretary implicitly oriented towards a new electoral confrontation, considered useful for strengthening the party in view of its immediate relationship with the less subordinate DC and in preparation for a future government of the left. The PSDI continued on 11 March with its XVII congress, held in Florence, from which a new majority emerged that ousted Tanassi (also implicated in the scandals) from the secretariat and offered the leadership of the party again to its ancient historical leader, G. Saragat.
But it was the XIII congress of the DC, convened in Rome for March 18, that attracted the attention of the entire Italian political world. Based on the clash between those who, supporting the secretary B. Zaccagnini, wanted to renew the party in depth in the men and in the methods and those who (choosing their leader A. Forlani) intended to reconfirm the image of the DC as a center party, strictly closed to the left no less than to the right, the congress assembly reached very lively polemical tones and decided to directly elect the party secretary, modifying the regulations. Zaccagnini was reconfirmed with 52% of the votes; a very narrow majority that left Dorotei, Fanfaniani and Andreottiani to the opposition and advised supporters of the secretariat to be more prudent in their innovative programs (so much so that in mid-April Fanfani was re-elected as president of the party’s National Council).
On 7 April, in Naples, it was the PLI’s turn to tackle the problems of its own organizational structure and political role as part of the 15th national congress. Leader of the left-wing minority for years, in January V. Zanone was elected secretary, after an agreement with the majority currents that assigned Bignardi the effective presidency and Malagodi the honorary one of the party. The detachment of the PLI from the traditional center-right positions was confirmed by the congressional outcome, which gave the Zanone group an absolute majority.
Meanwhile, the government was forced by the gravity of the economic situation to impose new fiscal measures on the country, which affected consumer goods (gasoline, cars, alcohol), but it was again U. La Malfa who understood the precariousness of such measures. fragmented and disorganized: the leader Republican at the end of March proposed to the other democratic parties that they try the path of a concrete agreement on a global program of economic recovery of the country. On 1 April, however, the political situation was suddenly shaken by a surprise vote by the House on art. 2 of the abortion law proposal. By modifying the terms of the compromise reached between lay people and Catholics in the Health and Justice commissions, the DC deputies, together with the representatives of the national MSI-Right, passed an amendment restricting the cases in which voluntary termination of pregnancy was allowed. The reaction of the secular parties, and particularly of the PSI, was immediate: the hypothesis of an early appeal to the polls was once again very topical, while the country was witnessing with growing concern a hardening of terrorist actions carried out by subversive centers of red and black terrorism. In such an atmosphere of emergency, however, no party wanted to take the direct responsibility of causing the early dissolution of the Chambers.
Throughout April, attempts were made in vain to reconstruct a majority agreement around the Moro government, taking the La Malfa proposal of a few weeks earlier as the basis for discussion. On the 30th, however, during a parliamentary debate, the prime minister took note of the disintegration of the coalition that supported the single-color and resigned. The President of the Republic had no choice but to accept the early end of the sixth legislature and call new elections for June 20.