COMMUNIST PARTICIPATION IN THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT? - PART TWO

Created: 5/23/1984

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cor-jntsto" itanart two

februar

president pertlnl and"

inn"foreign ministerseriously considering ways to bring the italian communist party {pci) into thegoverning coalition. we concluded at that time that despite the interest of these senior officials.wld be difficult to strikeeal. during the past several neeksj

contacts oei-een tne uv

the christian oemocrats appear to be taking the lead in these contacts"

they may btout of personalandreottl'*esire to secure pci support for his bid to become president of the republic.

they may be seeking tactical gains by attempting to use pci supportever to recapture the premiership from the socialists.

this "memorandum ms prepared office o* european analysts

fi-imur

drerat

A

They may beong-tena plan to alter the Italian political systemy by accepting the PCIull participantuture coalition government.

Ii is clear that the PCI, for Us part, hopes to use.these Jtjks to achieve full participation in government

The Setting: Craxl Miscalculation on the "Scala Mobile'

'YV<

ackground of Itlon over the government's

bill to revise the "scalathe system under which Industrial wages are adjusted automatically to account for changes in the cost of living. The Coinnunists' derailment of Itate April embarrassed Socialist Prlae Minister Craxi and strained relations aaong mewbers of the governing coalition. Craxl had calculated that standing firm on the bill would enable him to damage Communist prestige, weaken PCI Influence within ax-re moderate elements of the union movement, and eventually reduce Cconunist strength at the polls. Ihe "scala noblle' fight. Jio-Pygr. actually enhanced the PCI'S standing in the leftist opposition

again as the big winners.

JiUt the other contenders, the snail Republican presentJoint list, are widely expected to The Socialists, In the view of sow

could just

observers, could gain as ewchercentage points on tht strength of Craxi's hard line on the 'tealaut we believe his tactics cou as easily hurt his party

New Contacts

The OC leadership probably Is as concerned over the possibility of Socialist gains as It Is over the PC's own poor prospects. eal with the Comunlsts, therefore, may prove Increasingly attractive to thoseof the Christian Democratic hierarchy who believe that recapturing the premiershiprecondition for their party's comeback. Indeed, the strength of theeftwlng at the recent party congress suggests that sentiment within the party in favoreal with the Comunlsts nay already be growing)

ongtime taaslerhe Intricacies of the Italian politicalndreottl ataost certainly will try to avoid tipping his hand. Berlingwer is

a worthy opponent, however, and has no; forgotten that Comunlstfor Andreottl-led governmentsrmmht no appreciable has so far

refused to g'ne wuiwmi im cowiimn on tuner The "seala mobile- orgovernment. We believe Berlinguerlnost certain to insistagreencnt with the DC must be governedirm timetable forbenefits to the

may have progressed so, and if Andreottl and BerTniyari weneve wicy

pectlvehange In the governing formula could come as

earlyunraer. OC leaden have insisted in the past that any Comnunist participation in the government must have the electorate's prior approval. hat view prevails, the leaders of the main parties might ask Pertlnl to dissolve Parliament and call an election tn early fall. The next opportunity probably wouldear away, since the Constitution prevents Pertlnl from

dissolving Parliament during .his last six moiths ineriod that begins in5

Alternatively, the OC and PCI might prefer to avoid an early election if they thought it would amountejection of their deal. The two sides could conclude, for example, that testing some form of cooperative arrangementew months prior to going to the polls would makeore palatable to voters andtransjtionystem recogniiing the PCIfully legitimate" forced

otives

beoin

In our view, the final outcome will depend largely on the enigmatic Andreottl. Andreottl may merely behort-term political advantage for the OC. He may be trying, for exaople, to get PCI help in bringing down the Craxl governmenta development that could open the way for the Christian Democrats to regain the premiership. Alternatively, he may be seeking the PCI's support for his goal of succeeding Pertlnl as President: once elected, Andcotti could turn against the Communists, even using presidential power to weaken them. Flaally, Andreottl nay actually believe that the greater danger to Italian democracy end the Western Alliance lies In trying to den, the Comnunists an expanded role, thus perpetuating the deep political cleavages which have Impeded governmental effectiveness. Although Andreottl'i private agenda nay remain hidden for some time, we suspect that his short-term goal will ftttln to become clearer soon after the European ParlUrent election

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