THE ITALIAN CRISIS: SPECULATION ON THE OUTCOME (DELETED)

Created: 3/8/1979

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ITALIAN CRISIS: SPECULATION OH THE OUTCCr!

Introduction

olitical crieia obviously hot ato nr%QM any predictions of ite outcomespeoulativel Qnalysie of thebetween and within thehowever, brings one point into there ia little proapsot that theotri bewore direst

i^Thi* aseeesaent reete on twoassumptions;

that the Socialist Party will be unable to resolve the internal differences and other probleae that prevent it from joining the Christian Democrats in agovernment, and

that the crieia is likely to

UjOJieu tably

election which will not ap. relative party strengths

Thie mvtorandum was prepared by

teo^fjaejjonal and Political Anatysxe ana

(fKinFiT?

But at the curre.it line-up suggests, the Christian neaocrats' basic problemot arithmetical. Itolitical problem which centers on the failure of the Socialists so far^jto_fiStablish themselveseliable alternative to the Communist Party.

The Socialists occupy what seems toatally ambivalentthough they were allied with the Christian Democrats In3e never been able to breakthe Communists, with whoa they share powerocalabout half of Italy's population. To some extent, thea fear that too exclusive an association with eitherwill lead to the Socialists' absorption or demise. But 1ta deep and historic split In the party between those whoCommunists as their natural allies and those who are willing tothe Christian Democrets.r

Socialist Chief Craxln the latter category. He seemed during the last year to be giving his party new vitality, primarily by rallying Socialists around the one theme on which they could all"autonomy." He hoped that given enough time, this policy would allow Mm to broaden the party's electoral appeal, distinguish It more clearly froa the Communists, and lay the basis for renewed cooperation with the Christian Democrats.

But Craxt's efforts had gained no real momentum when Berlinguer bran with the Andreotti government last month. Berlinguer's move deprived Craxl of the time be needed and forced the Socialists once again to choosy between tbe Communists anJ the Christianagonye spared by the Inclusion of all three parties In Andreotti's parliamentary majority. Since then the divisions in the Socialist Party have resurfaced, and Craxl has been forced to adopt the sort of contradictory stance that has always undermined SocialistSocialiston the one hand while asserting on the other that the Socialists cannot join any government from which the Communists are excluded. J

Berlinguer has thus already achieved one of his orals In bringing Andreottl down; he has demonstrated how little tangible progress Craxl has made and shown that the Socialists areeak reed for the Christian Democrats- to lean on. CraxI's hand would be strengthened In

I that featured swll-party losses of such magnitude that theemocrats had no arithmetical alternative to coalition with the Cceraunists.However, that wouldreater-Qolarization of theran seems likely at this point.

Political leaders thus uill probably find themselves once again in searchormula that allows the Communist Party to claim Itart of government while the Christian Democrats ere claiming It Is not. Qt will be more diffIcjlt to findormula this year thanowever, because the Communists have been convinced by experience that

ced by risks])

such Bid-stream status poses too many political

fQf Berlinguer again agrees to something less than cabinet seats, he will almost certainly Insist on strict guarantees that Communist advice be solicited-and bo verifiablynearly all policies. ackage might include "technician" ministers associated with the Communist Party, Coaountst membership on some sort of formal committee changed with managing economic policy,recedent-shattering Christian Democratic agreement to form coalitions with the Communists in some key local In short, Berlinguer would have to be able tohe stood on the verge of cabinet status^!

(Despite their distaste for such an agreement, the Christian Democrats seem likely to see it is the leas': objectionable path, because the only remainingthe Communist Party to go into opposition-would in all probability merely lead the Christian Democratsircle. Ihey would have to turnajority to the Socialists, whe would probably be more Inclined to follow the Communists intoleading the Christian Oemoerats once again at Berlinguer's door.

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