ITALY: COULD THE COMMUNISTS ENTER THE NEXT GOVERNMENT

Created: 3/8/1988

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DIRECTORATE OF0

lUly. Could the Communists Enter the Next

Summary

Tha failure thus far of tha Soelallsu and Christian Democrats to resolva their hitter conflict over the leadership ol the rive pany coalition raises astillthat the coalition might break upPrime Minister Goria's expected resignation sometime in tha next two months. If this occurs, one possible outcome would bo thu antranea of tha Communists Into national government, probably Incoalition with the Christian Democrats. This would bo most likely. In our judgment, if President Coislga tries to head off another round o( early election* bynational unity government'andata to reform Italy's chaotic parliamentary and electoral Institutions. It admittedoverning coalition, tho Communists would almost certainly be excluded from sensitive- ministries, and might only Do represented In the cabinet by members of their affiliated grouping, the Independent left" Communist participation In the national government would almost certainly have an adverse impact on selected US securily Interests Inuch as out of area cooperation in the Persian Gulf end willingness to accept tne transfer of the eOlst Tactical Fignter wing from Spaln.r

I. Why is Communist Party (PCO participation In government more conceivable now than In the recent past?

The success ol tne live party center-left coalition has precluded PCI participation In national policy ma ting since thewhcn the PCI provided outside parliamentary support to Christian Democratic-led governments. The survival of the coalition appears

lo be In some Jeopardy now. ft owe vc due lo Ihe festering conflict bolweeo Ihe Socialists end ihe Ch'lsiian Oemoerats over the possession of me Prime Minister'* office During the past twelve months. Socialist leader eettino Craw has successively Wockao the Bflpointmeni io ihe post of the iwo most senior Christian Democrats, party inadwe Mite and Forerun Minister Giulio

Tho Christian Democials are angry over Crexfs obstructionism end are determined now toeasonably strong and durable government Ihe formationew five party coalition following Goria's resignation will probably depend on CraxlBflibla. assurance of supportovernment headedenior Chnstian democrat.

hat ia the current atate of Christian Democratic relations with the PCI*

The Christian Democrats nave made modest efforts in the last six monthsmprove their relations wlih ihe Communists. At the local level, for instance, me Chrlsiier Democrats have broken away from the five party formula In one major city. Palermo,overnment with tho "independent left" which Is Closely associated with the PCI. More recently. Do Mita has held direct discussions with PCI leader Alessanoro Nalta on the controversial issues of reforming electoral and parliamentary institutions, which Uie Kalian parliament Is scheduled lo consider in the near future. Oe Mlta has even publicly raised Ihe possibility that Ihe Christian Democrats might independently negotiate with the PCI over these issues el ifte same time that it negotiates within ihe five party coalition.'

While the SoEtailsu hove also form ad governing coalition* with ihe PCI in teversi major Cities and nave discussed institutional reform Questions with ihe PCI leadership, they have comoined these overtures with sharp attacks on Ihn PCL Following Moscow's recent decisionehabilitate 8ukhBrln. for Instance, thev Wayed up the involvement of celebrated Italian Communist leader Palmirohe Soviet purges of0 embarrass the PCi. Tnese attacks have probably greatly reduced chances lor Socialist-Communist cooperation in the near future. In contrast Chnstian Democratic relations witli the Communists hBve recently been free of eny obvious tensions!

hat are the views inside ihe Christian Democratic Party about bringing the Communists Into national governance'

The key factorossible Christian Democratic decision io work with the Communists would be the views of the Centrist factions, which represent anywhere fromo HO percent of the party. Their views would outweigh both Ihe party's left wing, which has traditionally been amenable to cooperation with ihe PCI because it strongly distrusts ihe Socialists, and ihe right wina which has close ties to the Vatican and is opposed io dealing with the Communists. I-

Leaders of the CentristAntonio Gave. Arnaldo Fortanl. and Oiulioin recent years opposed cooperation with the PCI ond. in fact, came close to dumping Do Mita last year because they thought his tough-minded approach to

Craxi wsi inexorably leading the patty toward luch cooperation. Preti reporting luggeit that many inparty's center are new reconaJdermLr toward ihe PCI became rhey are getting led up wttn Ciii't obstruct ion lam and view me PC*eclinnig--ena therefore Im ominous--toreeits substantial vote losses in the June IW' election Cava, tor eiampia said publicly tate last yea/ mat Chritlise Oemoc'JtK cooperation with tre PO wet becoming more thmubta due to then tail-Weil lenaiont- Andreottl is seeping his current views close to tne veil but heoy role in forging Christian Oemocrttc-Communist cooperation efforts In the. Ne Is probably Opportunistic enoogn to do to again If he we* no realisticK he -rn asxod to head tne government that would arise from these elforta.

What ara the views within the Communist Party about cooperation with the Christian Democrats

n tojein sut

Since the coaepse of Its cooperation arrangement Win the Christian Oemoerats in the, the PO hatrjemocraoc elterrsenve" coalition with me Socialists and Oliver leftist forces. Recently, however, me party leadership hat begun to respond to Uieisinterest in cooperation ovore fteaible aCanee poucy. Party Vice Secretary and heir apparent Acnrite Occnetto announced that the party now favors Uie formationgovernment of nationalhich would include lha major "democratic" partial and would wort toward specific Institutional end socioeconomic reforms. The party, in oar lodgment, would be unitedecision to |omroad-based national unity government, it ono were to materiallie.

A decision toovernment directly wilh the Chrittlen Democrat* indSocialists would be more controversial end would liWy be oppoted by boththa party. The right wing 'social democratic'no morea fifth of tho party and fccarjss by Ctcrgiowould probablyeoope'etion ilnca It continues to espouse en alllanca wltn thehilele't wing would oo|ect on ideological grounds The pertyt oommentwhtcn includes Nana and Occfietto. however, would hhety considertne Christian Democrat*ay out ofpe<Tv'i poiitlca) Isolation

S Whei are Hie oddtarty1 hang together following tha expected retlgnatien of the Gotta government?

Although formationew five pany government appearsbtaly at thisie ferureIs etarmce about Christian

Democratic contactssomewhat mot tieaio'e

about the leadership ntoe in order to preserve the coaiHen. He It willing to allowto assume lha Prime Ministership provtdeO that De Mita leaves Ml pott atmat ifita held both top potttioni. he would be strong

enough to. Xlin ihr- pci ahruiiri Socialist relations wlih ihe Cltrltilan Democrats deteriorate again)

Mita may accept Craxi'S conditions ram Gava. Forieni. and oihcr Christian

heavy weights to step down from the pany leadership. If Do Mita does accept the prime minister's lob. he Is likely to demand that Craxlredible

assurance ofefuse suchot too distant future.

Ov agreeing to servo tn the neat government Crew might he would want to bo able to bring De Mita down In the

Oe Mita tried to remain party secretary, tho Christian pemocrats migni put

forward Andreottl as thinr ^andidste tor tfo Prime Ministership.

- raxi would try to block Andreottl bocauL

willing and capable than Oe Mita ofeal with In this case. Craxl might irv to force an early election In Iho hopegains atenso of lhe Christian Oomocraia. who would be saddled withoi the Qoris j

hat might happenegotiations toaw coalition reached an impasse?

If effons toew coalition (ail. President Cossiga would face the choice of either calling early elections orovel Governing arrangement outside the five party formula. We think thereeasonably good chance that Cossiga would follow the second path because,edicated ec-istilutionalist. he would recoil st the prospect ot an election held only one year alter the crovious election, which itaelf was called prematurely. He would be most likely, in our judgment, toeading Christian Oemocrat auoh as De Mita or Andreoui toational unity povornment including Both the Socialists and Communists. Tho government would have as its major oblectlva

Both the Christian Democrats end the Communists would probably agree to serveational unity government The Socialists, however, wouldifficult choice. II they polned. Ihey would help to bolster the prestige of their Communistut if they stayed out. ihey wouldhristian Democratic-Communistbar might enact parliamentary and electoral reforms inimicalhoir political interests we suspect thatan Inveterate gambler, would decide to stay out of tho government in the hope that it wouldailure and that the Socialists would than beosition to score dramatic gains at the expense of both ihe Communists and the Christian Democrats

if the Socialists refused to participate, the Christianht it'llovernment with the PCI lhat also Included the imall but prestigious Republican party. Republican party leader Giorgio La Malf* has. In fact, become Increasingly critical of Create Obstructionism and recently selfl tUfll Ass..party no longer objectsha inclusion of tha PCI in the-nsiloflal government.

hat type of representation would the PCI obtainoalition government with the Christian Democrats?

The PO has recently said it would lend outside supportations) unity government if it received clear guarantees that agreed upon institutional and socioeconomic reforms would be passed We suspect, however, that lhe PCI wouldhare ol governmental power if it actually agreedoalition. The Christian Democrats would probably find appealing and the Communistsovernment that included members Of tho parliamentary 'Independent

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