Italy Between the 1960’s and 1970’s Part 2
According to Iamhigher, the government therefore set about implementing its program, centered on the so-called plan policy, that is, on a programming that would coordinate economic activities (without proceeding with further nationalizations), the establishment of regions with ordinary statute, urban planning reform, the revision of the agrarian pacts, the scholastic reform, without prejudice to the international position of the Italy on the European level and in the Atlantic area. However, the problems of the economic situation which had entered a recession phase immediately appeared as urgent, if not pre-eminent: a recession that almost suddenly seemed to halt the miracle of productive expansion. Beyond the controversies on the causes of the economic situation (inflationary pressure originating from the increased demand for consumer goods, in turn, a consequence of the increase in wages and salaries, or the inevitable stop of the disorderly growth of previous years, or even a brake on any entrepreneurial impulse posed by the “demagogic” and “punitive” tone towards the business world by some currents of coalition parties with the nationalization of electricity or with the threat of “coercive” programming), beyond even the controversy over income policy, the government was forced to give absolute priority to anti-conjunctural measures by postponing reform commitments. The Moro ministry was therefore accused by the most advanced currents within the coalition of having lost the innovative position with which it was conceived.
On 25 June, the Lombardi faction managed to get the three secular parties to abstain on a chapter of expenditure of the Ministry of Public Education which provided for the disbursement of 149 million in favor of the non-state middle school, which was rejected with 228 votes against 225 and 56 abstentions. A clarification was now required and Moro resigned from the government. The crisis was resolved in the second half of July 1964 – in a tense atmosphere and in a contradictory succession of rumors and fears of extra-parliamentary solutions (three years later the SIFAR scandal broke out about July 1964) – with the reconstruction of a four-party government, the second Moro ministry. The Lombard wing passed to the opposition within the PSI, but after the split of almost the entire left, it did not have the strength to change the party’s address. The new ministry in its composition followed exactly the previous one, except for the replacement of the Lombardian Giolitti al Bilancio with the autonomist Pieraccini, who will give his name to the first five-year plan. The government gained the confidence of Parliament with the deployment of November 1963 and made every effort to overcome the economic situation, first in September with some anticonjunctural decree-laws, and then in the following March with a “superdecreto” (in September 1964 the new law on agrarian pacts was also approved).
In the meantime, the problem of the presidency of the Republic had suddenly arisen: on 7 August 1964, President Segni was struck by paralysis. Transitionally replaced by the President of the Senate, Merzagora, he resigned in early December. Parliament convened in joint session on December 16, the official candidate of the DC, Leone, was unable to obtain the election for the dissidence of a part of the DC deployed in the name of Fanfani, who already at the time of the formation of the second ministry Moro had regained freedom of action within the party while voting in favor of the government, by withdrawing the ministerial representation of his current. Position reaffirmed in September at the IX national congress of the DC, when the Fanfanian current, which had obtained 21.1% of the votes, refused to join the leadership (the congress had nevertheless reiterated the center-left policy, with only the opposition of the centrists, who had obtained 11.5% of the votes, against 46.5% for the Dorotean current and 20, 7% to the union-basists; and Rumor, Moro’s successor, had been confirmed to the secretariat). It took twelve days and twenty-one ballots to unblock the situation. In the impossibility of stemming the dissidence and reaching the election of the official candidate of the party, as Moro had managed to impose two and a half years earlier with Segni, Leone was forced to give up, while the DC, not accepting the candidacy of Fanfani and not being able to advance other sure ones, he oriented his choice on Saragat, the man of the Barberini palace, on whose name also converged the votes of the PSI and the PCI, previously merged with Nenni. Saragat was thus elected president of the Republic with the only opposition of the right-wing parties. The government resigned for constitutional correctness, but the new president rejected his resignation and shortly after his post in the Foreign Ministry was taken over by Fanfani; first translation of Rumor’s attempts to heal internal disagreements and to start overcoming the conflicts between the various currents, attempts that will culminate precisely in the participation of all the Christian Democratic currents in the third Moro ministry.
The second government chaired by the Apulian statesman resigned on January 21, 1966, having been placed in the minority in the Chamber the day before (221 votes against 250) on the law for the state nursery school, a provision characterizing the ministerial program but against which they voted in ballot secret not a few Christian Democrat deputies. The crisis was resolved with a re-appointment to Moro and with the reconstitution of a four-party government, in which all the currents of the DC entered, even the centrist one (but not its leader Scelba, for whom the socialist veto was unshakable).