ITALY: IMPLICATIONS OF THE LOCAL ELECTIONS

Created: 4/1/1985

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Italy: Implications of the Local Elections

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Italy: Implications ofElections

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ImplicatiQjrsof'be Ixical Elections!

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a narrow plurality- We be-

irlyercent of Italy's voters will go to (he polls onay io telect new regional, provincial, and city administrators. Because of Ihc large number of voters involved, these local elections are traditionally seen at an important referendum on the national government. Thii year, the elections couldtrong Impact on the polilical sysiem if the Communist Pany (PCI) can equal or better its perforrruacc In Uit ycar'i Luroparliamcnt election, when it emerged for the firs) limeIKve thai itair chance of doing so.

theay elections will not change parliamentary arithmetic, they could profoundly alter ihe parties' view* about which domestic political alliances best serve Iheir interests. More immediately, thecould strongly influence Parliament in June when iiuccessor to Presidentirong Communist showing could give ihc PCI enough leverage to insistew president who would be less resistant to bringing Ihem Into Ihe government

Although wedonot believe ihal the PCI will beosition any time soon to dictate government policy, we suspect that over tbe longerirottg showing would make ihe pany more attractiverospective coalition partner, This would inject new uncertainties into ihe political equation 'hat could be harmful io US interests:

Day-to-day bilateralio the niliurybecome more cumbersome as luliao bureaucrats begin "looking over their shoulders" in anticipation of eventual PCI entry into iheand Inalai on "going by Ihe book to protect their careers."

.Italian foreign policy would probably revert to something less ambiiious and less suppernvc of US initiatives, for ciampic in the Middle East.

Rome would continue to meet Iu existing NATO obligations but would be reluctant to lake on new ones.

If the Communikti moved closer to power, tbe United States might even

Italyarder look at request* for landing and overflight right* for NATO out-of-arca contingencies:

On tbc other hand, we believe ihal. if ihe Communists come closer to cnterinc ihe government, they will have io modify iheir more contentious positions, especially on defense issues like INF basing. Whatever the coalition arrangements, theould have lo rely on cither the Socialinsor ihc Christian Democratsegislative nvajoniy.

Mr

Although lhc Christian Democrats (DC) arc campaigning more auressivc-ly than lint year, with anti-Communism as their central themej

is little evidence of progress toward rcbulldmi-m* panyiDUItcrca organization, which after nearlyean in power appears tu be running out of steam. We rate the PC's chances of arresting itsdecline only about

A clear Christian Democratic victory would, of course, help protect L'S interest* in Italy. Whatever problems lhe United States migh. experienceesult of the DC'* indecisivencs* and factionalism are balanced, in oury its batic commitment to NATO and the West. But evenC victory wouldhe Communnu back into Pandora* boa. al tcast forwhile, il would not alleviate all concern* about long-term US interests:

resurgent DC would probably heighten the tension that already strains the governing coalition as the small panics struggled lo retain power wrested from lhc Christian Democrat* when ihey were weak.

The resulting govcrnmenu. weakened by this internany wrangling, most likely would be short lived and would probably find il difficult to reach convensu* un supporting specific L'S initiatives.

Their short tenure and extensive sfluabbliag would make them even less cllective than recent governments in dealing with Italy's social and economic problems.

The impetus behind Italy's recent helpful foreign policy> hich we attribute largely to activism by the smaller coalitionould probably diminish

A rerun of last year's score* in the Europarliamcntslum* quoreduce tension within the governing coalition for the time being, but wc expect the truce would be short lived. The smallho have become increasingly unhappy with government policies un taxes and ending, would probably insist on renegotiating lhe government program once President Peilini* successor has been chosen. Even if Socialist Prime Minnlcr Craai could *li|chew agreement thai satitticd all of hi. jIlicvVc believe Ihajhe would find himself in.-easingl> vulnerable lo un-miK-irJical maneuver. b> hi* coalition partners during ke> parliamenta-r> lo.JT

These eicclioni will alio help determine whe'Ser Craxl will continue io exert predominant influence within his party- Wc believe an electoral breakthroufh bj thehave been stuck at aboutercent for the lasttuitcsi that Italy's moderate left is at lastotential to compete effectively with ihe Communists. Bat if lhe Socialist* fall lo reach al leasto IJ peroral ihil sprint, we think il would urenjihen those party members who arc anhappy withmoderation and who wouldore ideologically compatible alliance with the Communists to slayingoalition with the Christian

___

Contents

Page

.

Tbe ChfitwM

ReturnonffonUlion

A Covervip

The CoramunUli: Will theBecome thehreadi Thai Com Id Unravel

Thechillea' Heel

The Socialiiti: LifeeTopickety Coe Ink*

Tbe Preaidenilal Stew

Implkauona of lhe May Eleetioni

A PCI Plurality

A Christian Democratic Resurgence

Maintaining lhe Status

_

">Ci AJca^aV"*

vll

Inirodvction

Localay wilt call nearlyercentil lulun voter*the polH ia _tcct new regional.

i I) nvn .ifj'.in Rccaute of the

ip-ili: ;

large numbc v(lections are byn a* important test* of public confide nee in the]government, for example, ihe Communistump from aboutercent In! national'I percent inJ socatii loairbreadth o'the km(Christian Democrats aaduncertainty In llaliaa rmJnict that iuniinucs iu ihnhe Christian Democrat, have foundered" in iheir attempts to regain momentum over the decade, jnd the key uuemon thii year ii -hcihcimmunim will Anally pull ahead uf them to bcn'mc luly'i largett pa'ly iThe Com mu-nu.r-.lion ahead of therorarliameni election Ian year. KitItaliandoubt lhal eonieii was an gaugehe ruiionjle ligure 11

la the face of theietalian political leaden are preoccupiedenevm centering on the three major pert vet "j

a aSite*?

The ccetral questionItaUan polities todayr the Chrisiiaa Democratic Pany. afterean in power, hat begun an irreversible decline. Thewill largely determine how much aay the Communist* will have in running lhc country and. indeed, vhethcr thell enter the government Onwc believe lhal chances arcven lhal lhc DC will manage to arrest the decline

[aa Ma> election* hold further meaning

Iaa informal referendum on the futureVmjIki Prime Miriiter Craai't government and

on ihe Inc-pari) governing formula. Aftertninih* <ntun'* Cualilion Im cacecdcd the hietalian governments

IniMdcranlc margin, and the Christian Dcmo-cautlH'l, Social Democrats, Rcnubt-cum.lxraUun lo chafe under hi. Icadcrttiip.

I litttoondlv ittlloemt ilied-ndthe debate on (Itin the

vta> M poltlaal bargaining in

Vriln

After dropping moreercentage point* in1 national election as compared io7 national clcci.cn. the lecond-wone clccioral setback ever suffered by the DC. lhe Christian Dtnvocratsedged out by the Coanmeana* for ike first time in ihe Europe rtii me ni election lan yeargh party leader Ciriaco DeMitacd that iheercent improvement overt) nationalthat the iIkSc had been checked, this

m jimkmI improvement owed muchmaller turn-<iui, although ihc IX"lightly larger piece of Ihc rue. ii actuallyewer volesore ominously, the IX) score fellillion votes compiled wilh the count inV EuroparliarrKnilose look ut1 national4 I'uropcin election returns shows ibji the DC ii losing tales in virtually every region, but especially in its oldin Sicily and ihc *outh_Jsec table))

DcMtuear-impossible (ask: he must come upame plan for Ihc local elections that fill hii own notions about reform and is still acceptable to constituencies such as the dynamic ChristianiicnialKl group* in ihc northwest and cenier. the traditionalona kc-oriented politicians of Ihe south, andgroups in the nonhcast thaiodern,vc. Thatcher|

pany^

Return toon

Recent speeches by DC leaders and campaignsuggest thai DeMiia hopesnify his partyl rallt inters by rciurning to the lactic,'m* and IvM. of ploying on fears of Communin ad>an.es To underline the dangersommunin iii-tort. ISrMiia hassiressed in hii campaign address-cslurality for the PCI might allow il entry into ihc nalional government. The message to voters is clear "If you don't support the DC. you may boost iheiohe Communists, however, have nude treat strides toward shedding their image isii%yvicm party in receni years, andot al all dear thai DeMiiacare taciics will have the same It .mi/ing impaci tin IX* voters today as they did inUK and I

NilMnil/

half: Election Results foe CVtitlan Drnvocrati and the Commtmlif Party.Region

Tmi

Ac-.

Lomfiar4U

liu'ii

TnaUao-Atu Miff VnN'

Fiiuli -VnuiU

elw

Lam

i nxmll amiMMJ HlKaSt (ktlial

IW* taropsrlisnniii>4

EaraparlianKM1

DC

IS

IS

t.9

1

'ic IH "fc more confrontational approach ruai ihe ir.iinui nt issues, but iIn- party has hit the Communists

lh hard on ethics, focusing on recent scandals iinolvim- Communist nrlicials in Bologna and Naples.

Mtltoupii votcis mata bit atarkMine ilie kcltk black, ihis jjmba may be idling. Sineained control of some key cities such

as Turin ind Rome in the, ihe paly has had considerable success in creating an image of incorrupiibilltyorrupt lyiiern. This may make the Communists more vulnerable io scandal charges in this election lhan the Christian Democratic

The Christian Democrats have alio hardened their position toward their Socialist (PSil allies in recent weeks. In particular, DcMita has insisted repeatedly

jointly wilh Communistsowns and cities, acenrdirif to ihc preis Ironically, the ('hntuanate themselves aligned with the CommunistsowM and crtwsj

up Tactic

i take

DC kaden probably hopeugaacaou aHaat will obtcarc the part>'iweaknesses Internal backer ing. abruption. scandals, and miunan-agement hate all dc.itcd ih< DC image over the paw several yean. Moreover. US oflictalt report ihat. whik the DC kaocnhip mow to heetter job of working lotclhtr than anticipated,nl) scant evidence of progress toward rebuilding ihc parti organisation, especially in the large eiiiea where ihc DC machine has virtually ceased io caiii)

DcMita may ac* be counting on ihc church the placeealthy party organization. "

niiiajugmric core conscr-a*

uairai- lnnjiiiniiviv wum-s-

live lhan ihc average voter, we believe lhat significant numbers of local priesean lo the left in snme nam-of ihe country.|

nrancnro oy int ttiitan"spring3 ia support of the DC apparently fell on deaf cars In fact, oteasive interference by the church could have jun ihe opposite effect, reopening'.ur of church-state relations aod drivins away from the Christian Democrats

The Coaaasaaisfi Will lb* "SorM**iao" Beeoaw the

iht PC ft wrraw

WiB lobiii.vnl

Anotherense the flip side of the Question about the DCswhether the Communists can show that iheir narrow victory in the Europarliamcnt election last summermoreere outpouring of sympathy for former

ulmt ol tht IK bnunx matt

Mi- .nnHj.ti.NKi's Out Ihclitu I'k.il .illunvo with Ihc Communists tn^Miiiimiinuie Communisls are'iv>iblc. Sociitlisiv currcmly govern

J

pun* leader Hirling-cr who died only duy* beforeOur aralyu* o( that vote luggetl*< creeni *ympalhy votenimunnt*madegain* jmlardi Berlinguer'* death,nnnwfmu tm moeilirc their entirev*evti>tatc 'or the lirti tunc unce thew( Junen our view, the PCI"*sfing (urn wn whclr-er tbe parly cant-upporlcr* mob)tired.

Thread* Thai (out- Unravel

The Ifl fuec* an unu>ually large number of un* hnowm a* the May election* approach. The fledgling Italian Green* movement will runor theiihk in live region* tVmonte. Liguria. Veneto, To-wana. and Marehc andc luipcci lhat aportion of ajjy gain* by the Green* would

cuane from volcn who normally vunpori theOur analyvn of recent voting trend, wiggem

trwi ihe Communittt arc etpecially vulnerable lo

defectlonv by youngwho are becoming increa*-iiiflj dm in luii nd with the party'* more moderate

iim

ik growing inugc a* purl of the "eitabliihmem" ha*huit ihe pci in otherhe performance of ihe pain. afterean of holding office In moat of the pmtmf* largevi -tlie*.being tcrutiiuicd more thoelt by the media aad by it* opponentinimunnit mini be worried how voter* will react loI" tactic of focuMng public attention onmiiK iftvnking pci uflietali in Botogna andirn.it ihe* -ill try io minimize damage byiy member* convicted uf cormp-Itva. and tin-Ming lhe commit wilh the handling of Miinl.il' ti>hich frequently trie* to nrolccl

* .idvfs aie alio unccrlain. accord in

ui the impact of theira iijii-.ii.il 'cfcrcndum to ml ore IheIbe mi tonal wage indeia-

ine reading of lhe pre**

1f '< I.,1oter* who

iiimt i. .1 in pay Mime are

HitMi uould tie branded econonii-I iIt. mihl*fKatcd

The I'm Achilles' Heel

QUI the party i

Even if the PCI doe*0 of the IX. and ibe mythological climate ihiftt to the Com ma mm' advantage, ihey -till cannoi come to power withouteal with cither tber the Christiancndut lhc Communlitt' choice of aide* ii complicaied by incraailng divisions In the party over whichto puriua and how hard to puih them, accordingheardliner*ougher linehe governmentalialy the party**Partyo-evcr. believe the PCI nvuit attract new middle- and upper-clan voter* and worry aboul the party becoming Uolated and irrelevant.

Thehoice of allict r* aho complicaied by the penonal predilection* of PCI leaden. For Berlinguer. with hi* Catholic intellectual mind*ct. ibe ChriniiBu were the logical

tfctpite Bcrlinguer'i

iht roeaiional Solidarityfailed toabinet role for the Com mun the weeks just prior to hi* death hetalking again indirectlyoreign Miniiier Andreaiii about renewed collaboration

axi. uniit

By alllosandro Nalia, Berlinguer**would rather deal with Ihealla, who come*ore secular background. It lest comfortable among Catholic politiciani, according to the press. In fact, one of bis first act* on assuming office wai to align hi* pony with ihoat in Parliamem who called for Foreign Minuterover corruptionove thatlhcheated dnpoie* with tbe Chriatian Demo-ciat* in yean. Although Nanan favor with leftwing Socialiil leaden like lower chamber floor leader Rino Formica aad Labor Miniticr Gianni OcMichelit, he hat not gained grremain! firmly anti-Communi*t|

We believe ihai, a* the election campaign gather* tteam. Nana will attempt towo-track policy. He will concentrate hi* attack* on both ihe

'period. iM bin* in

ParWrniMeolUbjr.iw.the iwim

1 uni* ot mm-j

hamberlii-putles After Ihc National Klectlon*

. l> . Ilfc '

I'M.

i> iv

Democratic ami SocialUi PanySocialists: lift at the Tookkely Coakho.

with .mi eyebringing us many ot* the .

Ijithful as pos*ibtc to the path-umc lime,of course, the key question is whether his

l ir> to avoid isolating the PCI after"HII do -ell enough lo vuadtcaic his change of

, kvii-in bs emirtwwiiw willingnesseekand confirm him in power. Since wresting

cither pari) lq administer local jurisdictions andpremiership from the Christian Democratsft" ie* and programs lhat both sides can

iii

il

CD

slate. Moreover, according lo ihehc SocialUn alto calculate that their potential electorate grow* bjillion votei for nationwide loc election

tike Ibe Christian Democrau and thethe Socialiw are plaguedumber of important unknowns. Political observers believe, fot example, that Socialist voten are Ihc mostn increasingly volatile voting public. One academic study concluded ihal the typical Socialist voter has begun to change from year to year rather lhat. from election to election. In addition, although publie at* lention recently has fastened on scandals Involvini Communists, the Socialists are bracing themselvesajor construction kkkback scandal of Iheir own OhaLcould costubstantial number of votes

US officials note that}Crasi hu worked hard toarty away from traditional kftist standi on issue* like INK To date, however, he hu been unabk lo translate these changes into substantial number! of new voters. The I'oOalisi score irKreaied onlyIn) national election as compared to9 national election, for eiampkP

believe thaDif the Socialists fail to topocrceni ia MayTtl will strengthen ihc politic* of Craii's rivals within the party who oppose histe line and favor aa alliance with the PCI. He has already faced several instances of seriousfromkflrleaning challengers like For mica and Ik-Michel is!

TWwaauke*

The outcome of the local election* will not change the composition of Parliament and therefore has no direct bearing on ihe electionew pteatdcai.inimum, however, the result* willtrong impact on the piycbological climate in which lhat deciiion is made. We agree with Craai. for eumpk.trong Communist performance would encour. age ibem to insistresident who would be more open togovernment role for theuch a* Conitiiational Court President LeopoldoElui or Senate President Francescoa|

the premierimp uniu. To this end,pre-

paicd tohristian rXusoviar-iKiimeets to choose President Penini'i lucocssor. Most lulian commentators assume that, if theDemoc-iU fail to win the preiidency. Ihey willinsist upon the ptemierihip as compensation

lillin the

u

We believe Pertini cy if he wanted to.

several Christian DeirtocraTeTrBrxTnrmoer

dose to Craxi are concerned that this would create serious tension within the governing coalition

ahj Prime Mir

rely t

uppori Deputy Prime Minimcri. Democrat, in returnromise thai he

iiiric Minister for at Icati one mote ycarTj

jggetl that.

ii Ptnini due* mMnnm i* probably the

andidate Other prominent contcndcnt'lirmiaB Ih-mocrat Ironoido Hu. Tinai former Cbntun Demoe-jne Miniaicrtnlianxocu Cuul|a. Ot-car Seal faro, ChrivlUn Democratic Minuter of the Interior: NildeCommumtl Speaker of (he Lena* er Chamber; and Giovanni Spadolim. Republican Mi nut ci ofe electionew president usually rcuuirc* niulunle ruium and more often than run pioducci

Implic-llunt of the May r'krciU*a>

The com plenty of the Italian political lyitcm make* any number of outcomci to the May electionsBui. out of the welter of pmtibililies. we Can pick nut three broad wenario* that veern lo hold more promise than othert and that Would have important implications for the UnitedCIK' resurgence,onnnuation of the itatui quo On balance.believe the Communimtair chance nla plurality thereby eventuallyew look al the current governing formula .ir-r. more generally, leading Italiannato rcoeir Lanem aboutthetttlem ch-tuld ttittk Nuietargentontinuationthe tiatut quocsvanl) cnture uab-diy for very long

*lurality

<Kei ihe short term,bclivc thai the effects on tbe poliiical >vciem of lhe Itemerging as lhc clear plurality parly would be limited. Thii improved Statusbt .mother impormnl ncp in the PCI's search

lull leuiiimacy, but would mil tiibttaniiallyc-iiitihi-ii ii* pumliori inommunislnniirarilr force the Christian iM'M'iialliet Inclose ranki -i. -ii;ii lolltvn hutd on (inr

Over the longer term, however, wc suspect that the -Communists' ne* status would not only make them more attractive asprospective coalition partner, but would also enable them to increase Iheir influence over lhc policymaking process. As things stand now, wc believe lhal the leaden of lhc individual governing parlies would insist lhat the Communisl plurality be lettedational election before considering the PCIovernment partner. The neat rutiorbsl election is not scheduled Io lake place for three yean, but Natta hat already vowed that hi* party will pecaa for an early naiional election if its plurality isA new election could be held as early as this fall, although, traditionally, balloting in Italy takes place in the spring."

In our view, lhc PCI't chance* ofoalition more rapidly might grow significantly, however,ommunltt plurality acre accompanied by:

Serious Socisllsl losses. Allhough Crnai has moved the party steadily awayraditionalSocialiit heart* still beat to the left.n May would strengthen the hand of thoae party leaden who oppose Crasi and tout thevirtueseftiil coalition with the Common im

Strong nec-latcui (MSItgain*ercent ofvote ia the lower chamber dunng lhc tat) national election, the MSI (Italian Social Move-meat|Italy's foainh-largeil party Public cicanica* data suggesting that the far right could advance significantly ia these Leal elections have already aroused concern among numerous left-leaning and centriit polltlciant. according to the press! We believe these politicians worry thai Communist and MSI gains would (clnforce (he trend toward polar-iution of the poliiical lyilcm. with unforeseeable

'i*Mtia*aUs-day (impale" lit lit* kadrn tax hrtlufliai toill (IntMnufSi nut to1 ito cam-wif ato ton maw' .

to BOaa HI

for cui biliir. Even now, ihe parliamen-Mrs balance It close enough thai lhe government has occasionally had to rely informally on MSI suppoil louorum or win ley votes. If the MSI scored well enough to make its support nece*-varyore regular bails, we suspect thai moderates might be tempted to make peace with the Communists. They would probably reason lhat ihit would alienate fewer voters lhan coming to terms with ihe MSI. which most Italian voters uillbeyond the pale. VVc also believe, moreover, lhat ihe Communists, who fear political Isolation above all. would modify iheir positions on moreissues in order to almpllfy negotiations andoalition of the right.

A precipitous drop by thethe bulk ef lost DC votes going to other members of thecould also boost Communist chancesabinet role. The rivalry among the governing parties has intensified considerably since lhe DCs rjoorin) national election emboldened the Socialists und ihe smaller parties. DeMita haspubliclyerious DC drop, coming in the wake of the patty's disastrous performance inJ national deetson. would probably signal the end of ha tenure as party leader. The political turmoil surrounding the replacement of Ihe parly Icadci could, in lurn. leadeircal from the DCs tougher line on ihe Communists as Christian Dcmo-cruu maneuver to preserve as much of iheir power as ptaubkl

A Christian Drmoeratic Rnurgence

A clear-cut Christian Democratic victory over the Communists wouldelcome development for US interests in Italy To be sure, the DCs factionalism and indecisive nets have often been exasperating to US otlicials seeking Italian cnopeiaiion on controversial bilateral issues Hut ihlv Is balanced by the yrisi siriing basic conimiiment to NATO and by lherunch it can generally be counted on to side -nhited Slates something that sllll cannotbout iheespite its impiesiivewanl deiiiociuiic legitimacy and Independence from

V. ne* lease mt life for the DC couldhlcniN Iciwcier. il il were achieved at the expenseil>< d the small parlies.inimum.

such an outcome would be likelyntemify the already difficult luialion within thehe small panic* struggle to safeguard the power and patronage wrested from the Christian Democrats. Small-party truculence woold ptcgnblt uiher in another era of ihort-lived governments

Even though US interests would be generally safer if the Christian Democrat! regained dominance, there would slllltrong possibility of increased friction between Rome and Wathington. After nearlyean in power, the Chtiitian Democrats find dtci-sionmaking an increasingly complicated process.*policy, for example, hasoteIssue for tbe party. Despite the broad agreement that still exists among Christian Democrats on core que*iioos like NATO and the EC.oreater willingneaa within the DC to question US policy in areai like the Middle Easi and Latin America. For crumple, there were indication! at the height of last year's crisis in Lebanon that Foreign Minister Aisdrcotli was leas resolute aboul reuioiag Italy's MulUaatteial Force (MNF) eoniingcett ia Bet-rut than Prime Mini-tier Craxi or Defense Ministerepublican

Perhaps ibe mosl promising variation of this scenario would be one in which the DC improved gradually over several eleetioru. allowing the governing coalition time to adjuil irsdew equilibrium. The ir*tuitionore robust DC might pro*,easier for lhc governing coalitionsdjuit to if the smallerspecially the Socialist* andwere improviag slightly along with the Chriiliacocialist gain* in May would beparticularly hopeful aign for both Italy aad the United Si*lev because this would head the potential for giving lialy something it ha* hadmoderate left capable of competing crlcciivcty agalnii thee believe that, under thev* circumttancea, wilh ihe governing part nen tharing gains earned it the Communiits' expense. Ihey might be lei* inclined, at least in the short term, loeal with the PCI. It might also cave the way toward

* Tie DCruj-u

r*tetH-iwiiasodia-Mlricilb

resetting agreement on an eff'Xtive program to counter some Ol* ihf ounirv'* pressing social and economic problemi

Miint.ln.ilii tb. Statua Quo

A rerun of lait ycar'i scores in iKc Eu roper'lament election might reduce lenilon within the governing coalition for the lime being, at the governing partners reassess the situation, but we would eipect tbe trace to be short lived The parties* first order of business would be to select President Pertini'a successor, and wc suspect that the Socialists wouldhristiin Democrat in the hope of strengthening their own grip on the premiership Once Ihc new ptuidtai ii tn-stalled. rWever.ould eipect the arnallerpartnen. who have become increaunglj unhappy with government fulicm on lases and spending, toon rcncgouaiing Ihe government's program. Even assuming that Craii could Hitchackage ihat satisfies ill of his allies, wc believe thai he would find himself increasingly vulnerable to unanticipated maneuvers by hla coalition partners and individual rJclexuom during iroporiant parliamenisry lewsj

We suspect thai, in Ihelitui quo oulcome would feed ihc notion that Italy's political system has run oui of workable coalition formulas. Attention would probably focus once again on ihe pros and consew nationalovernment composed of "independentovernment of "na-trunalhe laitcr iwo options couldmmumtiv or "independents" who arc neverthelessto the Communists.oin the government.

plurality would cause Italians to begin "looking over their shoulders" and guarding agalnit the day when Ihe PCI might join the government. This couldradual process wherein day-to-day bilateralin the militarybecome mote cumbersome as Italian bureaucrats reacted to Ihc changing political winds and begano by the book. Communiit electoral advance*S6 mide Italian officials more reluctant to drcottuaribt buttsucrslic wqcejure* with wink* and

on the VnUti Stalesvcrndan!

the*MienjriosCI win in the Maylover lies between ihe PCI and theiin-,inject new uncertainties lhat couldinter cms over the medium and longnk.m.olid Communist

In anyovernment lhat includes the PCI wouldarriage of convenience no less subject lhan its predecessors to all of the pitfalls of Julian coalition politics. We suspect that the small parties

* PCIey asBhstssaa Puma ranwti*nloKOt*ut me NATOrtoa.t

- .milln agreementhort-termgcmcni and would ir> lo use ihe opportunity lo tiicngihcn iheir hands in preparalion for iht neitwith iheount hardly conducive lo tnwatfh govcr anneal J

IK' Stops Ito Ral

Alihouih ihoae scenarios ihal point to theaming ground or holding firm would serveuihing the Communiiti back into Pandoras boa would itillumber of uuesiioni impurlani to US tnieresu unanswered. Barring aa outcome in which ihc DC and imillcr partlcit'i.i- of pu'ixnemulti red gaini scored at Cummuniii eipenie. the govcrnmtnti suggested by i' xcninoi would probably continue lo live day by cU) Wc believe that, preoccupied at they arc likely lo be -nh inicpjrty SQuabbling. such govcrnmentiould had it even more difficult to cope with the enormous social aad economic problem* found ia area* like Naptes. Genua, and Palermo. In 'act, wclhat theie problemi at home would leave Kumc lil|le lime or inclination for foreign policy.1*

Finaoy,return togovernmcnis wocSd contribulc to Ihc lulian public's well-cttabliihcdabout political Institutions and parlies An increase in voter disenchantment would, al ain our view, resulturther proliferation ol small regional parties and special interest groupi inch as the Pensioners, ihe Venetian League, and the Sardinia* Action Party, which have sprung up during the past Ait years.evelopment would comeiase when mosl political observers havethat limiting the nambers of parties in Parliament would do much to improve government efficiency. And this further splintering of polilical toyaltiea would be yd another factor limiting Italy's ability to act decisively on controversial issues like

1 I

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