COMMUNIST PARTICIPATION IN THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT?

Created: 1/1/1984

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Conaunist Part ic ipat ton in tne Italian Government

Sunmary

C then

Foreign Minister Andreottl are seriously considering ways of bringing the Communists into the next qovemment coalition. Despite the interest o( these senior leaders ineal with the Communists, ne believein this direction will be difficult because there would be strong opposition to the Idea wllhin both the Christian Democratic and Communist parties. If both sides are serious about pursuingeal, however, we should see sign* tit. cnanQ'nc political winds within the ne.it several weeks

Pertinl's Proposals

IPertint wants to be remembered, -cmrJpresident who brought the "entire

innareotiiioeiy renowned foriy, and Pertlnl considers him the only OC loader

tne leadership of the country.

capable of successfullyew opening to the PCI.

Pertiniumber of political leaders anticipate that the Craxl government will come under heavy pressure early this iprlng. Craxl was Installed in August, tnd tho average life scantalian governments in the postwar period has been lossetrf

eur

l&fi

of

This i% not tht first tine tiii PCI participation in government

Tjur

yvtcirfgTff rwrtlni threatened tnat if tht center-left oerttes

were unable to agree he would charge Crail with forcing a.

government of "national unity- that would include the PCI

11.

to we

In addition to Ptrtlni's avowed workers' movement" Into the government^ want tohe Communists into way of Giving Italian government*

bring the "entire believe that he nay Che political mainstreamtronger majorities. Pertlnl has repeatedly txpressed concern over the growing instability of Italian governments and is distressed by the possibility that an early national election iba have to be held for the fifth time In nine years

the analysis of those that the Italian system li

tit believe that Pertlnl shares scholars and journalists who Insist seriously flawed by the lack of an acee involving the Cotnnunlsts as an alternat dominated by tht CC. He may reason tha government of national unity would fore reioonsiblt role and ultimately strenqt the long run, he may reason, this could alternation of power between left and r

Christ Un Interest

i's ideas apparently Have aroused serious the part of Andreottl and some Christian Democrats, ultimate poljtice! soa^ is to aeccte .President the *cpub*u

11

fa

pe is convinced that he itui wc TJ^Licii mimm lUBiuimi jupport.' He probablC-PCI rapprochement would ease the way for him

June some members of tne DC left have also tiprtssed Interest in an agreement with the PCI. With the DC'i own weight In Parliament considerably reduced because of the last election, these politicians hearken back to thehen Andreottleries of broadly-based governments to which the Communists gave parliamentary support in exchange for consultation on policy natters. This enabled the Christian Democrats and Communists to enforce their win in Parliamentumber of key Issues. Even tome OC leaders wary of dealing with the Communists note that the DC has lost leverage with the Socialists and^the small parties by rulingeal with the Communists.

* The president Is chosen by an electoral college consisting teinly of menberi of Permanent. As the second largest partyarliament, the Communists haveey rolt In determining who becomes president

SECRET

obstacjesfe-pci rapprochement

although we oelieve that the above account of pertint's attitudes iillyit seems to us that in his enthusiast- pertini is glossing over the risks and difficulties for, both andreottl and serlingucr if they pursue this course

n attempt by andreottl to convince the dc to brin^ the ?ce the governing coalition or to agre*overnment of

i ita

national unity would encounter stiff opposition fro* the christian oemocatic rlghtwing. andreotti's talk would te easier if attempts toraditional four- or five-oerty center-left coalition ran into serious difficulty, tinder those circumstances he would Deosition to argue sore persuasively that tne oarttcs hadout cf other options. under these circumstances, however, final agreement would reauirt eitraordinarllv delicate negotiations. the chief problem would De the conflicting political needs of ths christian democrats and comunists: the dc would want an ambiguous accord that various factions could interpret in different ways, while serlinguer uould be seeking explicit language to satisfy pct skeptics who -filligh price for the party's cooperation.

pcrtlni's puns night at first blush appear attractive to serlinguer, but cooperation with tne christian democrats er.taps ierlous risks for the communists. jn fact*.!

Herlinouer remaineda

i at ions our xn

aldo more- the party's failures during that period to gam entrance into the cabinet or to gain many policy victories in return for pc! parliamentary support contributed both to the recent growing dissension within therf*rthifl and th* party's disappointing recent election performances

communis micr" gngagcg in

-tofforrift ions flrimiyr ueith forper dc leader

we thus believe that berlinquer will be uary or any arrangeaent that falls to provide explicit guarantees from his potential partners on the government's progran, the distribution of ministerial and subminlsterlal portfolios, and the pci's role in the decisionmaking process. in ourerllngunr would insist this time on et least one najcr ministry and several *econd-le*e. ministries. serlinguer might take advantage of tho precedent of the late pci leader togliatti's tenure as minister of justice in the immediate postwar period to denand that slot, ln addition, he would likely te interested in at least one social welfare purtfollo like health, an economic ministry budget for example oreign affairs post, such as the ministry of kerchant marin** he would probably he reluctant, at least for the near future to push for the foreign affairs, defense, interior, or treasury posts. the communists are likely to acknowledge privately that by seeking such sensitive hign-profile itinistrles they would increase the inilety of opponents atandars^ reaction fron: the Un;ted state

almost certainly would arrangementpecific timetable for into the Cabineteasonable interval,

Should Berll^uer become convinced that it is In his party's interest to give the Government parliamentary supoort even if Ms potential coalition partners are unwilling to give hln cabinet seats, he could make PCF support contingent upon the appointmentumber ofechnicians whose view* to those of the PCI. However* Berlinquer Insist that such in farifiaiaa, Communists

Marning Signs

Andreottl and Berlinguer decided to try somert1nl's plan, we would expect hints to begin appearing in

evere)

ve would also expect topate of articles both in the Cowmunist press acd the non-party press emphasizing the country's Institutional and economic ills. President Pertlnl would probably also play more frequently on the theme of Italy'semphasizing that the parties are running out of other options. At the sane time, we would expect several prominent journalists sympathetic to the PCI to return toheme that Italy's ills can only be cured If the country's Catholics and Communists work together

We would orobably also see both parties begin to play down their differences on major foreign policy questions. In this regard, we would expect the DC to emphasise that Us arguments favoring eventual withdrawal of thecontingent and resumption of the START and INF talks are not very different from those of the PCI. for its part the PCI would underscore Its past criticisms of the Soviets over Poland. Afghanistan, and Cicchoslovakia and emphasize Berllnquer's recent personal efforts to have the suspended arms talks resumed.

The Communists might also begin to highlight once again

th* ^Sta'ative process. In the mid-seventies

the PCI wasto point out that their parliamentary

[proposals.later adopted by Christian

Finally, US officials could expect to begin hearing reassurances from DC and PCI leaders that times have changed and tnat the PCI can safely be brought into government without serious damage to US or NATO interests. Andreottl, for example, probably would argue that governmental participation could un, rmlne the Communists as It has In France. Although Andreotti uouldigh priority on reassuring the United States, he seem* less sensitive to OS objections than in the past, we thus

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