Italy Between the 1960’s and 1970’s Part 8
With the resignation of Rumor (3 October) one of the longest and most tormented government crises of the second post-war period began. After a dense series of consultations, the head of state entrusted the president of the Senate Spagnolli with the task of “carrying out an in-depth examination of the orientations of the various political forces regarding the formation of the government” (10 October). The refusal to resort to early political elections – especially by the left – and the profound differences existing in the quadripartite made the crisis difficult to resolve. On October 14, Leone entrusted Fanfani with “the task of forming the government”; the “letter to the four parties” of the old majority sent by the president of the Senate offered many points of agreement, but the preliminary ruling put forward by the PSI to agree with the trade unions on the main issues of the program remained unacceptable for Fanfani. Following his renunciation of the mandate, the same was conferred on Moro (October 29) who – after complex negotiations – gave life to a two-tone government (DC + PRI) supported by the quadripartite majority. In fact, the possibility of a four-party government appeared to be unattainable, due to the reiterated differences between PSI and PSDI, with the Social Democratic opposition behind the proposal of a single-color DC, the leadership of the party with a relative majority had suggested the solution of the two-tone: the presence of the PRI the government would have guaranteed the secular parties from any danger of integralism on the part of the Catholic party. The PRI accepted responsibility, PSI and PSDI immediately expressed their support and with them the SVP voted to trust the government (December 2), while the liberals, having taken note of the program, abstained. The PCI, while voting against, announced a “democratic opposition”, in search of the most open confrontation between the forces of the country.
Alongside the major economic issues, the defense of public order and Europeanism, there was space in Moro’s programmatic document which would have been effectively implemented in the following months, from the definitive approval of the reform of family law to the granting of rights. politicians to eighteen, to the law for aid to journalistic publishing as a guarantee of information. The first and qualifying act of the new government was the establishment of an autonomous ministry for cultural and environmental heritage, for the defense, recovery and increase of the country’s artistic and cultural heritage which had been neglected and neglected for many years. In the school sector, starting from November, the delegated decrees came into force – launched by the previous Rumor government and by the same minister of P.
Due to the persistent difficulties encountered in initiating the economic recovery, the Moro government was forced to decide de facto increases in popular consumer goods, only partially offset by social measures (pensions) or to relaunch agriculture (supported by an appropriation of a few hundred billion at the end of January 1975, but hit a couple of months later by the “wine war” initiated by France against imports from Italy) or by a gradual but continuous easing of the credit squeeze. The increase in the television license fee and the price of fuel oils established at the end of 1974 was followed by the rise in the price of sugar and other food products, the increase in electricity, postal and telephone tariffs, the higher cost of transport and natural gas.. The attention of the government as well as the economy turned to the problems of public order, increasingly threatened by violence and kidnapping, extortion and attacks. Precisely on the occasion of the launch of the rules against crime, the majority risked going into crisis several times, and the “leaders” of the quadripartite were frequent in the spring of 1975. Finally, the law for the defense of public order was finally approved by the Chamber on the 21st. May, after the changes made by the Senate to the text already passed to Montecitorio with the contrary vote of the communists only.
In the spring of 1975 the political debate was conditioned by the prospect of the imminent administrative elections, for the renewal of almost all the regional, provincial and municipal councils. The controversy between the opposing forces was lively and the electoral campaign was conducted in the same spirit as the political consultations. The repeated advances of the PCI for the “historic compromise” were contrasted by the intransigent refusal of the DC secretariat, engaged in recovering votes and credibility in its own electorate, after the defections of 12 May.
According to Timedictionary, the elections held in Trentino – a region with a special statute – on November 17, 1974 had recorded an evident loss in votes and seats in the DC itself, the decline of the PSDI and the PLI, the substantial confirmation of the PRI already raised in the elections of the 1972, (who presented himself for the consultation on 15 June with O. Biasini at the secretariat and La Malfa at the presidency of the party) and the advance of the PSI and the PCI. It was a trend towards the left that was confirmed or accentuated by the vote in mid-June, which gave these overall results in the fifteen regions with ordinary statute: the PCI went from 7,586,983 votes (27.9%) in 1970 to 10,149,135 votes (33.4%) of 1975 and from 200 to 247 seats; the PDUP (born from the merger of the socialist party of proletarian unity with the Manifesto group and only appeared in ten regions) obtained 411,725 votes (1.4%, 8 seats); the PSI rose from 2,837,451 (10.4%) to 3,636,647 votes (12.0%) and from 67 to 82 seats; the PRI from 707,011 votes (2.9%) to 961,016 (3.2%) and from 18 to 19 seats. The PSDI, on the other hand, dropped from 1,897,034 votes (7.0%) to 1,700,983 votes (5.6%) and from 41 to 36 seats; the DC from 10,303,236 passed to 10,707,682, losing in percentage (from 37.9 to 35.3) and in seats (from 287 to 277). The decline in the Liberal Party was more significant: from 1,290,715 votes (4.7%) to 749,749 (2.5) and from 27 to 11 seats. The national Right increased slightly, from 1,621,180 (MSI + PDIUM, in 1970), (5.9%), to 1,951,011 (6.4%) and from 34 to 40 seats. Other regions, besides Emilia and Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria, thus passed under the administration of leftist juntas.