Political elections were called for April 28, 1963 and the Communist Party registered a million more votes than previous ones. The only valid formula was that of the center-left, made up of the three coalition parties plus the socialists. The secretary of Christian Democracy, Aldo Moro, was in charge. But he did not reach the necessary consensus and then the President of the Chamber, Giovanni Leone, was called to the test, who obtained the confidence of the Christian Democrat one-color government. Leone resigned and the government returned to Aldo Moro.
In January 1964 another split occurred in the ranks of the Socialist party; 25 deputies of the Chamber, led by Basso, Velori and Vecchietti, gave birth to another party which was called the Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity.
According to Abbreviationfinder, the government immediately set to work to implement the long-outlined program, but a sudden recession destroyed the economic miracle that occurred in those years. There were various causes: among them we noticed the great demand for consumer goods, the consequence of the great wage increases, and the ventilated nationalizations of companies, as already for electricity. Moro was forced to postpone the reforms planned to deal with more immediate problems and this provoked internal conflicts which brought to light the dissensions of the socialists.
In June, a request for approval from Parliament of a spending chapter in favor of private middle school did not pass through the abstention of the socialist Lombardi and three other secular parties, and Moro submitted his resignation.
In the second half of July the crisis was resolved and Moro formed another government. This resumed work to overcome the economic situation and in September the law on agrarian pacts was approved. In August another important problem arose: President Segni was stricken with paralysis; measures had to be taken immediately. In the meantime, the Hon. Merzagora, president of the senate. Then work began and after several ballots Saragat was elected. Fanfani passed to foreign countries and Mariano Rumor to the secretariat of the Christian Democracy.
In 1966 a Moro government still led the country and the economy showed signs of recovering. In March 1967 a five-year plan was launched with a reform program and in 1968 an electoral law of the regional councils was approved. But in these two years there was a sensational student revolt which then involved the whole system in the protest. The famous “sixty-eight” that opposed not only the school system but also the social, legal and parliamentary one, as well as the bureaucratic slowness in all institutions. In May 1968 the elections had marked a decline in coalition parties but the biggest disappointment had been for the socialists who had united the previous year.
Only the Christian Democrats and the Communists had been subject to a slight increase in votes. A provisional single-color ministry was established led once again by G. Leone, which then broke up to create a ministerial collaboration government led by Rumor, with De Martino vice-president and Nenni for Foreign Affairs. Rumor immediately tried to start a vast reform plan and firstly on March 1, 1969 he ordered the public force to vacate the student-occupied University of Rome, then worked on employment, university reform and the improvement of pensions. In the international arena, the most important act was the signing of the “nuclear non-proliferation” treaty at the Geneva Conference.
Meanwhile, in the unified socialist party, fractures were forming between the groups of the former social democrats, fearful of organizational overwhelming by the socialists.
In 1969 the agreement for South Tyrol with Austria was concluded after years of disagreement and terrorism. South Tyrol became an autonomous region. Also in the late 1969 there was the so-called “warm autumn”, in which disastrous strikes and endless union unrest created an atmosphere so explosive that, in fact, they resulted in attacks, such as that of “Piazza Fontana” in Milan, in which they died 17 people and who for years and years has kept magistrates busy trying to convict the real culprits.
Rumor formed his third government, after the political elections of March 1970, with the Social Democrats, the Socialists and the Republicans. In June there were the regional ones that were in favor of the center-left. But still disagreements between the parties forced Rumor to resign in July. Emilio Colombo, former Treasury Minister, Giulio Andreotti’s political ally, came to the Prime Minister. In December 1971 Giovanni Leone was elected President of the Republic. Columbus resigned. Andreotti took his place but in February 1972, following a distrust, he too was forced to resign. New elections took place in May and this time Andreotti was able to form, in June, a government called “democratic centrality”, together with social democrats, liberals and with the external support of the Republicans. A wide-ranging program was launched to resolve all the economic issues that had hitherto remained unsolved. But in addition to these economic difficulties, others of public order had been added. Right-wing violence exploded in Milan while left-wing violence exploded at the conclusion of the Congress of the Socialist Party, held in Genoa in November 1972. The government crisis was inevitable, the government fell. The new assignment was entrusted to Rumor and his fourth ministry including Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, Socialists and Republicans. The liberals passed to the opposition.
Meanwhile, the young secretary Enrico Berlinguer had risen to the leadership of the Communist Party. He too announced his opposition to the government, calling it, however, “flexible”, that is, more elastic, to be exercised according to the problems that were proposed. And that was the era of the well-known “historical compromise” in that the Communist Party decided, every day more, to apply a policy aimed at closer government collaboration, provided that it was leftist. There was some economic recovery. There was the recovery of the lira, an improvement in industrial production, but the construction and the problems associated with the South slowed down the actions of the government which thus entered into crisis, also due to internal conflicts, which decreed the withdrawal of the Republicans from the ministry.
In March 1974 the crisis was overcome and Rumor was able to start his fifth government. Two important events occurred in that year: public funding for parties and the Fortuna-Baslini law for the institution of divorce were approved. The Brescia terrorist massacre of 1974 once again forced the government to step down. Leone rejected Rumor’s resignation and invited him to seek another compromise to complete the legislature. So it happened. During the same year the government approved the increase in the cost of gasoline, which provoked infinite reactions. Berlinguer lifted “flexibility” and the opposition resumed the hard line. The situation was unsustainable and early elections were inevitable. One of the longest government crises had opened.
On 29 October 1974 the task was entrusted to Moro who formed a two-colored government, more republican Christian Democrats, supported however by the majority of the 4 parties. Submerged by difficulties of all kinds, this government first established an Autonomous Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Heritage, so that the huge artistic heritage of the country which for many years had been in absolute abandonment could be recovered. Then he authorized many increases in every sector of the market, from consumer goods to electricity, postal and telephone tariffs. Furthermore, it was necessary to curb rampant crime and therefore the provisions on public order had to be revised. All this while the Communist party reiterated the need to implement the “historic compromise”.
In all the regions affected by the various elections there was a notable decline in government parties and an increased tendency to the left. Moro continued to govern in an atmosphere of great uncertainty, until the beginning of 1976 when the socialist party took away his support. He was therefore forced to form a single color again which had the confidence of Parliament. But the situation was always precarious. All efforts made to restore public order were in vain and various disorders, acts of terrorism and protests thwarted the work of the government and Moro gave up. Early elections were necessary which, however, having highlighted a sharp drop in all intermediate parties, no longer allowed a majority of the center parties. Andreotti was the prime minister in charge and he formed a single color, without the majority,
The government passed despite the fact that the situation remained difficult. However, when in January 1978 the abstentionists changed register and passed to the opposition, Andreotti was no longer able to govern and resigned. Moro was commissioned again, who, in harmony with Berlinguer, tried to insert the contribution of the Communist Party into the government. This did not succeed and in March Andreotti still managed to form the new government. On the morning of 16 March 1978 Moro was kidnapped by a terrorist group called the “red brigades” who killed the 5 men in his escort. That same morning in Parliament, confidence in Andreotti was voted but the government was not authorized to negotiate with the brigatists for the release of Moro. While all the parties declared themselves oriented towards this firm purpose, instead Bettino Craxi, Secretary General of the Socialist Party, he declared himself more inclined to negotiate to save the deputy’s life. For 55 days the brigatists were expected to release Moro and on 9 May, in a street a few steps from the headquarters of the Christian Democrats, his lifeless body was found in the trunk of a car. Two days later, Francesco Cossiga, Minister of the Interior, resigned.
The Moro case highlighted the rift between socialists and communists even more. Craxi even criticized the roots of communism. Meanwhile, the austerity measures implemented by the government were bearing fruit. In the legislative session, 1978 was a positive year: the laws on abortion, on fair fees, on the abolition of “asylums” and on health care reform were passed. With the latter, free assistance was established for the less wealthy classes and their management was entrusted to bodies called Local Health Units, dependent on the regions.
On June 15, 1978, the president of the Leone republic resigned because he was involved in a financial scandal together with other ministers. On 8 July Sandro Pertini was elected in his place, an outspoken and loyal anti-fascist who for many years had criticized the political system and played a truly dynamic role in being the head of state. At the end of that year the communists voted against Italy’s accession to the European Monetary System and the government entered into crisis. At the end of January 1979 Pertini commissioned Ugo La Malfa to form the government in the republican but, having no luck, he returned to Andreotti. He also failed and then the president dissolved the chambers and went to early elections which took place on 3/4 June 1979. After several attempts Cossiga was able to form the new government which was composed of Christian Democrats,
And at that time, in legal terms, although the anti-terrorism laws remained severe, a particular system was established for the protection of those who had accepted to collaborate with the justice system: this system was called the “repentant” and was approved in February 1980. After two years another was approved which was called the “dissociated”. All of this was useful in streamlining many investigations and reaching the arrest of dangerous terrorists, otherwise uncatchable, with some ease.
The agreement with the socialists of Craxi was privileged at the Congress of Christian Democracy, held in February 1980, who thus became the pivot of the right alliances to govern the country.
On August 2 of that same year, a bomb attack took place in Bologna in which 85 people were killed. It was attributed to right-wing terrorism. Cossiga was then accused of aiding and abetting the Christian Democrat secretary, Donat Cattin. It was claimed that he had warned the person concerned of an imminent capture of his son, a militant in the terrorist group called “Frontline”. But after being acquitted of the charge, Cossiga resigned from the government. Arnaldo Forlani, president of the Christian Democrats, was the new prime minister in charge. During his rule in Turin an important event took place in the Fiat factory. A general strike was taking place in it as the management had announced the dismissal of the redundant staff. The union had threatened to occupy the factory. At that point, a flood of 40,000 people from the middle managers made a demonstration march with which the union power was reduced and the Company was able to operate with more peace of mind and profit. On November 23, 1980 a huge tragedy shocked Italy and this time procured from natural elements. A violent earthquake struck Campania and Basilicata. Many were the victims and the destruction, especially in the Irpinia area. Rescue came with a disturbing slowness and severe criticism rose from all sides, especially by Enrico Berlinguer who declared the chapter “historic compromise” definitively closed, asking the country for a democratic renewal centered on the Communist Party.
Meanwhile, the internal situation had worsened. Scandals broke out which also involved the secret services of the state, then there were other terrorist attacks and one in particular was brought against the person of Pope John Paul II, on 13 May 1981, by a Turkish terrorist. Under these conditions, the Forlani government resigned. He was replaced by the republican secretary Giovanni Spadolini, historian and journalist of clear fame, who after 36 years managed to form a secular “pentapartic” government. A very important success of this government was the release of the American general Dozier, kidnapped by the red brigades. It had happened on January 28, 1982 and from that moment many repentants came out into the open who contributed, with their confessions, to the rapid dismantling of that army of terrorists.
After the alternation of two other governments, very short, he came to the political elections of 1983 that re-evaluated both Republicans and Socialists and just the head of the latter, Bettino Craxi, was the new premier. He recorded the longest duration of a government in Italy since the end of the war. Among the various successes he reported was that of the revision of the Lateran Pacts with the Vatican. With this revision, the Catholic religion no longer represented the only admitted cult in the country, space was given to other confessions. Then the privileges granted to ecclesiastical bodies were reduced, canonical marriages were adapted to civil law and the teaching of the Catholic religion was agreed in all schools, from kindergarten to high school.
Meanwhile in 1985 Cossiga had taken over Pertini as president of the republic. And in 1987 Craxi submitted the government’s resignation and the Christian Democrats returned to the government, in application of a previously agreed “relay”. Then in June 1987 there were new political elections which showed a good increase in votes to the Socialists. Environmentalists, better known as “Greens”, also entered the new government. After a brief alternation with the Christian Democrat De Mita, Goria, former minister of treasure in the Craxi government, came to the presidency. His main concern, like his predecessor, was to reduce the public deficit as much as possible. The Goria government was also short-lived and De Mita was proposed again. In 1988 he approved by a large majority some changes to the regulations both in the House and in the Senate. Then in May 1989, ruthlessly attacked by the Congress of the Socialist Party, De Mita resigned and was replaced by Andreotti who immediately formed a pentapartic government. Between 1989 and 1990 some important laws were passed including that of the management of immigrants present in Italy and that which established institutes of recovery for drug addicts and the introduction of penalties and fines not only to drug dealers but also to consumers.
In January 1991, as a member of the United Nations, Italy participated in the Gulf War against Iraq. On February 3 there was a split in the communist party that Achille Occhetto, then secretary, had decided to call the Left Party. Many followers disagreed, dissociated and founded their own party called “Communist Refoundation”, led by Fausto Bertinotti.
Meanwhile, the President of the Cossiga Republic carried out a real political activity dealing with various problems related to the Judiciary, which he considered too politicized; he had many conflicts with the various parties and urged the government to make amendments to the Constitution so that it could be made more current and effective. The desired reforms did not take place and, with the fall of the government, early elections were held which took place in April 1992. The main event was the allocation of 55 seats to the deputies of the political formation “Northern League”, headed by Umberto Bossi. Then, breaking a custom in vogue for years, a Christian Democrat, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, was elected to the Presidency of the Chamber, in place of a representative of the opposition. Scalfaro, however, held that position for a limited time because, after the resignation of Cossiga, he was called, after many scrutinies, to the Quirinale. And in that period one of the biggest scandals in the history of Italian politics occurred. And it concerned the “bribes” that all parties indiscriminately perceived by private bodies and companies. The whole event was called “Tangentopoli” and the Milan Magistracy soon found itself overworked, since the phenomenon was widespread. While all this was happening, the various organized crime associations were reaping murders of magistrates in Sicily, Calabria, Campania and Puglia.
Craxi was the deputy most affected by tangentopoli. Another socialist was called to form the new government and was Giuliano Amato, who first devoted himself to the consolidation of public finance and therefore reduced the number of ministers and undersecretaries. Then he raised wealth taxes, reduced free health care, privatized some industries and banks, and finally sought an agreement with the unions so that they would limit wage increases as much as possible.
Between 18 and 19 April some referendums were held with which public funding was requested from the parties and three Ministries: that of Agriculture, State Participations and Tourism and Entertainment. On April 22 Amato resigned but many other characters of the old politics disappeared from the scene, among these the most eminent were Andreotti and Craxi.
The task for the formation of the new government fell to Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, a man of irreproachable clear fame, probo, honest and loyal, who formed a government of competent technicians. On May 6 the government was voted and immediately began the work of economic recovery, but also had to deal with mafia crimes. Andreotti was involved in one of these, to whom a trial was conducted immediately, which lasted for years. And it was not the only negative episode of the rampant corruption: many personalities were affected by the judiciary for their connections with tangentopoli.
In the meantime, Martinazzoli had become the secretary of Christian Democracy. He changed the name of the party, reviving the ancient definition of the Popular Party and with the motto “renew without denying” he began his work. And first he declared himself in stark contrast to the Northern League while opening dialogue with the Left Party.
Political elections were held in June 1994, in which one of the country’s best-known men entered: the businessman Silvio Berlusconi. Its main stated purpose was not only to reform the country’s economy but above all the political one. He founded the party he called “Forza Italia” with the intent to create a large center-right, liberal and democratic. And with the support of men of letters and eminent men of culture, in union with the Northern League and the National Alliance, he formed the so-called “Pole of Freedoms” in the north and the “Pole of Good Governance” in the south. The radical party led by Marco Pannella was added to this alliance.
The Left Party, for its part, formed another political party called “Olive Tree”, in which all the leftist political forces converged. And in the elections of March 1994 “Forza Italia” obtained the highest consensus regarding the right and the Left Party on the other front. Berlusconi formed the government but immediately had to deal with the Northern League, whose leader declared that he would remain in government, despite his profound aversion to the nationalist National Alliance party, only if Berlusconi later allowed Federalism, an essential point for Bossi, and had left the property of his three television networks with which, of course, he could have obtained greater fame and publicity.
To achieve the main purpose of Berlusconi’s government, social spending had to be cut cleanly and the privatizations of public enterprises accelerated. When the financial move was presented, protests and social tensions occurred. The government’s willingness to dialogue with the unions was very low and in October of that year more than three million people took to the streets for a massive general strike. Two other major strikes still took place in November and December and the government was forced to discuss with the unions, especially the topic of pensions that were not to be changed beyond June 1995. And while he was engaged in an international conference in Naples in quality as head of the host government, in November 1994 Berlusconi was reached by a guarantee notice issued by the Milan prosecutor for a history of corruption relating to the Guardia di Finanza. Immediately there was a government crisis, fueled also by the exit of the Northern League, which accused Berlusconi of not respecting any of the points planned at the time of the alliance. On December 22 the government fell.
The new position was entrusted to Lamberto Dini, former Treasury Minister in the previous government. In January 1995 he had confidence. Its government was formed by the Left Party, the Italian People, the Northern League, the Segni Pact, the Greens, the Network and the Democratic Alliance. The opposition was taken up only by the followers of the Communist Refoundation. Reform of the social security system was initiated and an additional financial maneuver was launched; then a bill was passed that led to the modification of the calculation of pensions, copying the system adopted by other European countries. Between the end of 1995 and the beginning of 1996, Dini, considering his term ended, resigned. In February 1996 the president of the republic dissolved the chambers and on April 21 the new elections took place which gave the center-left forces the victory of measure. The new prime minister was Romano Prodi, a distinguished Bolognese economist, former president of the Industrial Reconstruction Institute, a former Minister of Industry and a member of the Italian People’s Party. He thought first of reducing the state deficit then with the prudent economic policy of Ciampi Italy was able to cut inflation sharply and entered the European Monetary System. Between 1997 and 1998 inflation dropped to 3% and Italy officially became part of the monetary unit.
Communist Refoundation did everything to oppose the Prodi government in all sectors, including foreign policy. Meanwhile, at the top of the Left Party there had been a change, the reins had passed into the hands of a new secretary, Massimo D’Alema, who in 1997 was charged with forming a Special Commission to complete a series of institutional reforms. During 1998 a new financial maneuver was proposed and Bertinotti invited his followers to sign against. Many did not accept the suggestion and dissociated went to form a new party called the Party of the Italian Communists, led by Armando Cossutta.
Prodi however resigned and the task was entrusted to D’Alema who left the party secretariat to Walter Veltroni, former director of the Unit, newspaper of the Communist party. For the first time in an Italian government a woman had the Ministry of the Interior: the chosen one was Rosa Russo Jervolino.
The new electoral law, for some time on the carpet, was the subject of the referendum of 18 April 1999. The turnout was very low, first because it was filed in a haphazard form, imcomprensibile to most Italians, and because the great inflation of the medium election it had put a strain on the population who also no longer had the hope that at one time or another the proposed programs would find a completion.
On May 13, 1999, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, with the widest consent, was elected President of the Republic. In December Massimo D’Alema, following a government crisis, resigned and the new government was formed by Giuliano Amato who assigned to the various ministries competent people, such as in that of Health with the appointment of the distinguished professor Veronesi, doctor of clear international fame.
However, the center-left had registered several declines, so the regional elections of March 2000 saw Forza Italia win over nine regions, while the government in office had left six. Berlusconi and his allies have continued to call for early elections but Amato, with the seriousness that has always characterized his political and human work, is still conducting the legislature in port until his natural expiry of the year 2001.