PROSPECTS FOR AND CONSEQUENCES OF INCREASED COMMUNIST INFLUENCE IN ITALIAN POLI

Created: 7/18/1974

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NATIONAL

INTELLIGENCE

Prospects for and Consequences of Increased Communist Influence in Italian Politics

ESTIMATE

NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION nuttioiiisdSublett to Criminal Sonclfo

PROSPECTS FOR AND CONSEQUENCES OF INCREASED COMMUNIST INFLUENCE IN ITALIAN POLITICS

THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE.

THE UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS, EXCEPT AS NOTED IN THE TEXT, AS FOLLOWS:

The following inltlligtnce organizations participated in Ihe preparation of Ihe estimate/

Ihe Central Intelligence Agency and tha Intelligence organisation! ol tha Deport-menli ol State, Defense, Treoiury. ond tha Nationo! Security Agency,

Concurring!

The Deputy Dlrecto* ol Cantrol Intelligencethe Central Intelligence

Agency

The Director ol Intelligence and Research representing the Department ol State The Director, Detente Intelligence Agency The Director, National Security Agency

The Aiilitant General Manager lor National Security representing the Atomic Energy Ccmmiulon

The Special Auli'ant to the Secretory ef the Treoiury representing lh# Deportment ol the Treoiwry

gi

The Awiitant Director, Federal Bureou ol Inveitlgallon

AISO PARTICIPATING,

The AiiWant Chief ol Staff for Intelligence, Deportment ol the Army

The Director ol Nawl Intelligenca, Department ol the Nary

The Awiitant Chlel ol Staff, Intelligence, Deportment of the Air force

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contents

Page

PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS

I. COMMUNIST

New and Diffcrenl

To tho "Historic

The Chilean

The PCI International

IL FACTORSARGER ROLE FOR

Governing Options Nanowcd

Elections: No Way

Economic Woes

Anti-Communist Sentiment Fading

The Divorce

FOB THE

Opposition Within the

Governing Parties Still

Mixed Feelings in

AHEAD

Some P'-'itical Side-EffectsD-PCI

V. THE Pa IN GOVERNMENT

Domestic Affairs

Foreign

PROSPECTS FOR AND CONSEQUENCES OF INCREASED COMMUNIST INFLUENCE IN ITALIAN POLITICS

principal conclusions

Ihroughout the postwar era. (he Italian political system has shown anility touccession of seemingly mortal crises.it has done so without the direct participation of the country's second laigest politicalItalian Communistver the years, however, the Communist Party hasconsiderable influence in local governments. In addition, it has had an impact on national-level policymaking through itsin parliament and through carcful'y-nurtured but informal consultative relationships with the governing parties. In recent months, the Communists have stepped up their campaignarger and more direct PCI role in the governing process and have drawn attention to this effortew"historiche idea behind themodus vlvendi with the dominant Christian Democratican old one that has Influenced many of the party's tactlca! maneuvers since the end of World War II. This paperhe fac'ors that are working in favorore directrole in the national government, the obstacles to it, and the

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forms it might take. It also considers the consequences for Rome's relations with the EC, NATO, and the US should the PCI succeed. The principal conclusions are:

influence in Italy is on the increase.has gone far toward achieving the Party'sa legitimate organization, qualified tolacea national government coalition.

chances for attaining this objective have beenby the deteriorating economy, the general declinesentiment, the growing difficulty ofItaly with the previous formulas, and theof detente.

governing parties continue to resist the idea of PCIin the government, and some in the PCIwith the Christian Democrats. The PCI dot-sprepared to accept actual membership in aat this time. Nevertheless, some leaders of theand Socialist Parties no longer rule out anwith then though they do not yet feelcome to terms with the Communists.

abortive coup attempt from the right or an economicare the circumstances most likely to force theinto an immediate accommodation with the

of such contingencies, the PCI will continueradually increasing role in the national"historic compromise" strategy. In thisPCI will seek to use as leverage its influence withattain such objectives as formalized consultationsCommunists and the governing parties, ad hocin parliament for the governing coalition, and anin collaboration between the Communists andparties in local governments. This process could take years.

fn the coalition, the PCI would not be likelyJemand sweeping changes in the constitutional order. The

Communists would avoid pushing for radical solutions to Italy's domestic problems, at least initially, and wouldonosition in the government. All agree that Communist entry into the Italian government would befor NATO: The PCI would seek to prevent any facMiwJ in the US or NATO presence in Italy. It would try to discredit the US military presence, to put restrictions on the use of NATO facilities, pose obstacles for NATO activitiesItalian armed forces, and promote petty harassments of US facilities based on legal and other technicalities. PCI membership in government also would pose difficult security problems for Italy's participation in NATO and complicate or jeopardize privileged information exchange programs and, at least fn present circumstances ofake it even harder for other allied governments to maintain public support for defense spending.

The Director of Central Intelligence, Statc/INR, NSA. and most elements of the CIA believe that the degree of PCI succss in these efforts would depend on the relative strength of the Christian Democratic Party, and thus the terms of any CD-PCI agreement. Theyieve that the PCI itself would not soon risk its role inby pressing for radical formal changes in Italy's foreign alignments.

The DIA, Army, Navy, Air Force, and some elements of the CIA disagree. They believe the PCI would go beyond the actions outlined above to agitate for the removal of existing US bases and, once it succeeded In strengthening its position, would move to withdraw Italy from thealtogether. They further believe PCI entry into government would have very serious repercussions on defense preparedness and unity throughout NATO, and call into question the alliance's ability to react quickly and effectively to any Warsaw Pact military actions against NATO or any individual NATO member.

DISCUSSION

COMMUNIST STRATEGY

New and Different Opposition"

The Communists have done more than anyone else to focus debate again nn theof their role in the governing process. They have longtrategy calculated to remove any doubts about their willingness to enter tho government eventually and to undermine traditional arguments againstevelopment. The PCI has implemented this strategy with particular effectiveness during the last year.

When the center-leftDemocrats, Socialists, Social Democrats, andrevived last July, theimmediatelynew andby implication, moreThe Communists had been alarmederies of events in thehat began with neo-fascistgains and ended with the formation inentrist coalition infor the first time In aSocialists were replaced by the conservative, business-oriented Liberal Party. By softening theirthe Communists hoped both to stem any further drift to the right and tothat it would be difficult to solve Italy's social and economic problems withoutcooperation.

ccordingly, tbe Communists refrained from blanket opposition to tbe government's proposals in parliament while applyingfor action on specific Issues. Of greater Importance for the stability of the government, however, was the Intervention of tbewith organized labor. The Communists encouraged the militant unions to back the gcrvernmenls economic recovery program by hiding off on major strike activity andwage demands. The Communists thus received part of the credit for the trendrecovery that developed prior to theof tho energy crisis.

To the* "Historic Compromise"

The significance of the "differentwas capturedrominent editorialist, who noted that the Communists' ability to aid the government In the resolution of keymeant that, de facto, they participated In the governing of the country as much ns the parties comprising the coalition. It was pre-ci>?ly this situation that Communist Party leader Enrico Berlinguer tried to exploit last October when he first announced hisfor an "historic compromise" between his party and the Christian Democrats.

The "historic compromise" proposalold and newtrategy ofto share powerodus vtvendi with the Catholics has always been advanced by some elements of the Italian Communist leadership. Seldom, however, has the official party line focused so openly on working out an agreement with the mainstream of the Christian Democratic Party and not just its left-wing elcmrnti.

erlinguer surfaced the slogan first in the party's theoretical Journal In the initialit appeared toall for anpact between the Communists and Christian Democrats. The furor created by the proposal from both sides led Berlinguer to backtrack somewhat and Indicate that the compromise he envisioned could inctude the Socialists and other left-of-center parties andong-term rather than an immediate goat

erlinguer did, however, manago tohreefold message through the debate that developed over the technicalities of theFirst, he pointed outthehad demonstrated their ability toubstantial contribution to tlie resolution of Italy's most pressing problems. Second, Italy's rulingChristian Democrats

Intadtly recognized this by quietly accepting Communist assistance. Third, theere unwilling tosuch under-the-counter supportand believe it time for the ruling parties louid pro quo.

The Chilean Connection

reason that the "historicgambit attracted so much attentionit reflected the Communists* shockever.ts in Chile. The PCI had beenby Allende's electoral success,he was overthrown the party waslook for lessons,

the PCI leadership concjuuea un Airenues failure resulted chiefly from the intransigence of the Chilean Socialists and the subsequent alienation of the Chilean middle class. This was seen as evidence that the PCI was on the right course inradualist policy designed to win the support of the Italian middle class. But the main conclusion that emerged from the PCI assessment of Chile was that Italy could not be governed for long against tho Christian Democrats, even if the left1 percent majority. In this sense, the "historic compromise" Is it realin PCI strategy.

The PCI International View

a result of the varied role the PCIsince World Warin Italythe International Communistparty has come to project anSome in Italy continue to view thea classic mirxist-lcninist party. loyalforeign power. Italians In increasinghowever, interpret developmentslast decade as evidence that the PCImore "social democratic" than

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conflicting Images are held no* only by Italians generally but by partythemselves. In truth, however, the PCIynthesis cf opposites, characterized by the persistence cf elements of bothThe problem that this poses for PCI efforts to Join the government Is nowhere more apparent than in the party's international strategy.

The PCI has been fairly successful in retaining Its tics with the internationalmovement whileloser identification with Italian national alms. The achievement of the latter would tend to soften the opposition of the other political parties to Communist participation in the government. But for most Italian Communists, theconnection IsurelyItalian party would not satisfy PCI members; many would undoubtedly resign.

The PCI leadership has tried to deal with this problem by coming down on both sfdes of the fence. The party has publicly criticised Soviet moves which reflecton the question of how the PCI would behave If In power (Czechoslovakia, the Solhzenitsyn affair) while aligning itself with the Soviets on other Issues.

In the last few years, the PCI has tried, through Its European policy, to satisfy both its membership and those Italians who insist that the party demonstrate Its independence. The PCI his tried touropean Identity by workingtrong West Europeangrouping of Communist parties. The aim of this effort has been to develop aWest European communistfrom lhat of thekey European social and economic Issues. In this way, the PCI hopes to appear less dependent on Moscow end increase Its acceptability to tho non-communist Italian parties. At the same time, the party would retain that identification with the international Communist movement that is so essential to the greater part of its members.

This policy met with partial success early this year whenest Europeanparties met in Brusselsonference organized mainly by the PCI. The conference vas the culminationCI campaign over the Inst several years tooordinated West European Communist posture toward major social and economic issues. Thedid not move as far as the PCI had hoped toward an independent stand onIssues. But the final communique did avoid ritual endorsements of Soviet policies. The PCI also managed to gain acceptance by the other Communist partiesolicy of closer cooperation among Communists,and "Christian" forces at tbe regional level. Thus, the net effect of the conference was to create the impressionore flexible and pragmatic European Communist

All of these PCI tactical maneuvers have taken place against the background ofdetente that has gradually eroded the conviction among many Europeans that the USSRirect threat to Westernand that the PCI (and some other European Communist parties) areof Moscow.

II. FACTORSARGER ROLE FOR PCI

Governing Options Narrowed

the postwar period, thegoverning Italy with'o thehave gradually narrowed., pa iiamentarypermitted the exclusion of the left from

the government. Moreover, the four-partyformula of thoseSocial Democrats. Republicans, andbroad support in an era when tensions between East and West were at Iheir highest.

The centrist alignment, however,proved unable to meet Ihe demand for broad social, economic, and administrative change that peaked in theor such changes led too the left" that brought the Socialists Into Ihc governing process and established the basic pattern of Italian government for the ensuing decade. But the performarwe of the succession of center-left coalitions did not measure up to the high expectations, and2 the government was nearly paralyzed by differences among the coalition partners over economic priorities and the utilization of Communist votes In parliament to supportmeasures.

The Christian Democrats sought to break Ihc deadlock through earlyelections inhowever, only in extending lo the national level the advances scored by neo-fascists in earlier local elections. In the polarized aftermath of Ihe election, the Christian Democrats turned again to the centrist alignment of. But gradual and steadygains over the postwar period, coupled with the sudden neo-fascist spurt, had severely conrtrlcted tbe center portion of the political spectrum. The centrist coalition tottered alongear and in the end only proved lhat Italy cc'jld not be governedazor-thin parliamentary majority.

a last chance" atmosphereihe revival of Ihe center-leftyear ago. and tho parties did succeedover their differences forIn March, however, the coalition fell victim to tho same differences among the parties that had brought down its most recent predecessors. The small but InfluentialParty withdrew from theisagreement with Ihe Socialists over Ihe best way lo combat Inflation. Prime Minister Rumor was able hurriedly to patch together another center-left coalition but, wilh the divorce referendum on the horizon,were unwilling to spend the tiraeto reconcile the coalition parties' more fundamental differences.esult, thenearly collapsed again in June. While it has been patched together again, ll does not appear likely to be any more successful than such coalitions have been in the past.

Elections: No Woy Out

n attempt to create alternatives to ihe center-left alignment through new elections would probably fail as it didhe Italian electorate hasemarkableof stability through seven nationalThe Christian Democrats andhave remained in first and second place, respectively, through almost the entireThf Chriiticn Democrats, however, can draw little comfortomparison of their long-term electoral performance with that of the Communists. After capturing an absolute majority in3 election, the Christian Democratic vote dropped sharply and has hovered consistentlyercenthe Communists havelight gain ln every national electionhen the party wonercent of the vote. The Communist vote now stands2 pet cent.

hus, nearly all constitutional variants shortoalition including ibe Communists have been tried and found unable to provide effective solutions for the country's problems.

The net effect of this experience has been tosychological climater* receptive to tlw ideaovernmenting Communists; although leadWs in theparties, business, the Church and other sectors do not like the idea and hope to avoid any such development, many now consider that ft is inevitable in tho long run and do not appear excessively alarmed. Thisactor that will work on the Communist Party'sIf Italy's social and economic problems become even more acute.

Economic Woes

Italy's current political tensions arefrom previous politicalby the intensity of its economica condition which enhances the leverage of tho PCI. During, booming worldand Italy's strong competitive position hw fostered increasing prosperity and bal-anco'of'paymcnts stability. Rapid industrial expansion obscured an archaic socialand largely masked the Inefficiency and instability nf the center-left governments.

Now economic problems are helping to lay bare strongly divisive politicalcovered from its deepest and lengthiest pc.twarbeset by record-breakingtaggering trade deficit,oor international credit rating. Most cures for these ills Involve economic trade-offs that would heighten strains among the powerful labor unions, the Socialists, and the Christian Democrats. The Communists, by dint of their Influencehe labor unions, canajor role in easing Italy'splight if they extend positivetho same Influence would give them mafor negative power if they chose tacooperation.

ide-effects of burgeoning labor union power since tho "hot autumn" of labor strife9 have placed the economy underpressure. The uniori achievrd ar. important role in economic policymaking,through threats and strikes and later through legislation that gave labor an edge in most disputes with management Theircut into output and export growth,and helped to tip Italyecession. After growing at closeercent annually In, the economyostwar lowercent growthNPan average of onlyear during all, and then reboundedercent

truce" with labor andeconomic policies, the government finally stimulated economic recovery last year, however, inflation worsened and the tradedeteriorated sharply. The laborfor which the PCI received muchdown on strikes in exchange for hefty wage increases. These wage hikes, along with abudget deficit, rapidly expanding money supply, and skyrocketing world commodity prices, pushed consumer prices up sharply. The greatly increased demand also stimulated imports, especially of quality consumer Items such as beef and automobiles. Exports picked up, but Imports considerably outpaced them, in part becauseevere deterioration tn Italy's terms of trade. The growing trade defi-ci* and capital outflows provoked by political initability ledapid build-up In Italy's foreign debt.

he energy crisis brought the final crack In the dam. Price hikes for imported oilercent to the consumer price Index,to an annual Inflation rate ofercent during the tint four monthshe oil trade deficit zoomed, helping to boost the total trade shortfall to aboutillion monthly and exacerbating capital outflows.

he central bankittle mote thanillion to support the lira during January-May. Because of labor unionand the fear that the lira had nofloor, the government decidedcleanost of the support funds came from further foreignboosting total foreign Indebtedness of the public sector toillion.

he huge foreign debt, gloomy trade outlook, nnd shaky political situation haveexhausted Italy's internationaloreign exchange resources are now perilously low end there are continuing uncertainties about whether Italy can effectively mobilize its large gold reserves. Large sales of gold to the free market appear unlikely since they would depress the price. Even though the US and other major countries have agrctd that gold valuedegotiated price may be used as collateral for international borrowing. Italy would face difficulties fn agreeing on apricerospective lender.Rome would have misgivingsrecedent that required more than its good faith as backing for borrowing. Of the cco-iiOmlc policy alternatives available to the Rumor government, only tighter tradewovld have been reasonably palatable to domestic political groups. Following on the prior deposit import schemes imposed in April, however, such action would hAve seriously antagonized the EC, CATT. and the IMF.

o put Its house in order and improve its credit position, the Rumo; government has finally agreedeflationary program. The fiscal and monetary measures represent abetween the Christian Democrats, who favored tougher measures to curb import demand and inflation, and the Socialists, who wished to avoid threats to employment and to social spending.

Wlillc tho program should easeprcssincs and help the balance ofIt aho threatens to cut back growih and employment. This was the reason for the Socialists' misgi'Ings, but they finally agreed to the compromise package because theis so serious. Even Luciano Rarca, the PCI's leading economic theoretician, now agrees that stiff austerity measures are called for by the extreme fiagility of Italy's economy.

The labor unions may go along with the government's program for the time being. But if prices continue to rise because of cost increases already in the pipeline, trade union cooperation almost certainly will evaporate. Widespread strikes could touch off moreflight and cut into export growth. Large wage hikes, if granted, would offset part of tht program's beneficial impact on imports and prices.

The Communists so far have not come uplear-cut policy to capitalize on the precarious economic situation. Their leaders are aware that Iheir classic economicthe rich and subsidize the workers' marketnot feasible In the current situation. Party economists have smuggled in vain to come up with an alternative tomeasures that would ease Italy'sproblems but be palatable to the labor unions. While the Communist leadershipprefers to stay out of the government to avoid the onus of responsibility in thecritical situation, it will press for son* political lOUs in exchange for any cooperation it gives.

Anti-Communist Sentiment Fading

PCI has made numerous bidsthe governmentutDemocrats have usually givenshrift. Lately, however. Christianresponses have laded the finality of

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earlier rejections, lt is significant, for example, that the Christian Democratic leadershiparefully worded reply ratherursory "no" in turning downoffer of an "liistorfche answer was clearly negative, but the door wasr for suggestions and supporting votes from the Communists in parliament.

t is difficult lo estimate how many prominent Christian Democrats favor closer collaboration with the Communists, because most party figures are reluctant to endorseoncept publicly. But it is clearumber of Christian Democratic leaders have become privately persuaded that I'aly cannot be governed effectivelyontribution by tire Communists.1,

he easing of tensions between the Christian Democrats and Communists over the years results in partactic therefer to asver the years they have encouraged the development of "cloakroom" consultations wilh theparties. There are discussions between PCI financial experts and governmentfor example, before the submission of the budget. Overseas trips by PCI foreign section officials ar? frequently preceded bywith foreign ministry officials.egal constitutional party, Ihe PCI Is consulted routinely by the prime minister on many other matters. The PCI, for example, was called in for such talks after the recent terroristat Brescia.

n informal relationship has developed between the Communists and the othern parliamentary committees. This Is of particular importance because thehave legislative as well as advisory powers. These committees put on lhe books aboul thiee-fourths of the legislation that emerges during an average session ofIdeologicpl divisions have tended to blur in the committees, even during periods of sharp confrontation on the chamber floor.

For its part, the Vatican has abandoned the rigid anti-communist stance lhat once led it to threaten excommunication for Catholics who voted Communist. Since the election of Pope Johnhe Vatican hasore detached view of Italian political de-velopmet-ts. although the Council of Italian Bishops has not moved as far in this direction. Both Ihe Church end the Vatican havewhen they felt their interests challengedin the divorce referendum. At the sa.ne time, the Vatican's statements onissues, especially since Vatican II,recognized the validity of many of the goals held by Wrist parties.

The image of the Church as an anti-communist bastion has meanwhile beenby the Vatican's own version of Ost-politik. The Vatican hasumber of steps In recent years to improve relations with socialist countries, especially those in thebloc. The latest examples of the Vatican's conciliatory policy were tlie removal early this year of the staunchly anti-communist Cardinal Mlndszenly as primate of Hungary, theof another papal audience for SovietMinister Gromyko tn March, and the recent visit to Cuba by the Vatican "foreign minister."

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the end of World War II, the Italian Communists hive sought tothat they are not enemies of the Church. The PCI, for example, voted after tho war for the Inclusion of the Concordat In the newThe party servedonduit on occasion for Pope Paul's Vietnam peaceMore recently, the Communist delegate to the national congressirm stand against abortion.

Business leaders' generally goodwith the Communist-dominated Ceneral Confederation of Italian Labor (CCIL) have enhanced the respectability of theamong businessmen. Italy's leadingGiovanni Agnelli, has noted that the JCIL, unlike other confederations, can be relied upon to keep its agreements with management. The CCIL's performance In the last several years has encouraged somebusiness leaders to believe that labor-management rehtiom would at least be more predictable If the PCIarger voice in the government. The recent acceptance of the CCIL Into the European Trade Unionsuggests that the Italianhaveimilar respectability st the regional level.

The Communists have done much toess hostile view of the PCI through their effective performance in local government. The PCI at presentusually with the collaboration of theof theegions,ozen of therovinces and aboutercent of all the municipal councils. They have been particularly successful at the regional level where they have used their best talent toshowcases of Communist administration. Coordination between officials of different regions to lobby for their Interests at thelevel have provided another forum for Christian Demociallc-Communist consultation.

Tho Divorce- Referendum

No recent event has brought theof relations between the Christianand Communist* more sharply Into focus than the referendum In4 on whether to repeal0 low that made divorce legal In Italy. The Communists were tbe majorcf the law and the Christianits major opponents. The lopsided voteveryone and had the effect of strengthening Communbt chief Berlinguer in his leadership of the PCf.

In many ways, Berlinguer's position in the party was on the Line In the contest. He tried lo convince Christian Democratic chief Amintore Fanfanl to go alonglan lo cancel tho contest In order loublic battle between the two parties. Fanfani,refused lo cooperate, perhaps gamblinghristian Democratic win on divorce would give thetronger position from which to deal with its coalition partners and the opposition. This brought Berlinguer under fire from PCI militants who thought he had erred by publicly estending his hand to tbe Christian Democrats before tbe divorce issue was settled. Tbe outcome, however, vindicated Berlinguer's timing.

referendum has been describedwatershed, and Italian politicians willits meaning for some rime toare likely, however, to draw at leastlessons, most of which favor

thai the anti-cor munistChristian Democrats impliedote for divorceote for thelost potency. Voters innumber appeared to IgnoreDemocratic rhetoric and cast their

ballots on Ihclr preferences over the specific issue of divorce.

that the sternest admonitions of thea statement by thefailed to sway large number* of voters.

that the Christian Democratic attempt to repeat the law was an enormousof the mood of the electorate. The outcome indicates that voters have moved over the years away from Church or lay-sponsored conservatism to afor social change.

that the progressive implications of the vote will encourage the lay parties in theSocialists Ento press for more vigorous action onprograms.

Because the vote cuts across party lines, the outcome docs not necessarily mean that Communist strength would increase in aelection. The Communists can arguehowever, that they were in tune with public sentiment on an historically divisive issue and that the Christian Democrats were not. They will use this argument to reinforce their claim that the Communist Partyespectable organization entitledlace in tho government.

The impression conveyed by the divorce vote was strengthened by the outcome of the Sardinian regional election in June. Theshowed losses for the Christian Democrats compared to both the previousnd lhe lasthile the significance of the Christian Democratic defeat on divorcv Is open to question, the party's setback inwasolitical rebuke by the region's electorate. The Christian Democrats paid the price for five years ofegional government in which their partyear majority. Coming on the heels of the divorce defeat, the Sardinian election sounded an alarm lhat Christianleaders can hardly afford to ignore.

The Sardinian outcome, moreover, serveseminderore general phenomenon that tends lo favor theimage of corruption and inefficiency lhat theparties have acquired over the years. Postwar Italian politics has been markeduccession of scandals involving the ruling parties, and the burgeoning governmentalhas become the subject ofridicule. The PCI, however, has been largely insulated from the effects of these events by its opposition role.

In addition, the governing parties have made little effort to push new leaders into the spollight, rc!ying insteadtable of personalities whose continual presencefor the "musical chairs" quality of Italian government crises. The Communists have been somewhat more successful in this respect; Berlinguer,s one of Italy's youngest political party leaders. All of this hasympathetic atmosphere fortheargue that it is timehange.

III. OBSTACLES FOR THE PCI

Opposition Within the Party

tho divorce victoryBerlinguer's position in the party, iterase all internal opposition to histhesis. Some party leadersconcept for tactical reasons whileserious philosophical reservationsideaommunist-Christian

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Among the former are those who feel Ihat the party Is losing Its identity endbysoft" opposition policy: that by associating too closelyrum-Wing coalition, the PCI risks getting caught in ihe nilns. They think the party has more to lose then to gain from sharing responsibility, and that It has benefited In (he past bysuch sharing. The termto them that the party Is ready to water down its principles toeal with the Chriitlan Democrats. PCI president and elder statesman Lufgl Longn went public with his unhapplncss over the phrase, suggesting In an Interview that "historic bloc" mightore accurate way to characterize the Communist objective, Longo apparently feels that this would make clear the party's readiness for an alliance withoutillingness to compromise the PCI's principles.

Other PCI leaders simply remain un-CDnvincedapprochement with the whole Christian Democratic Party Is the best avenue to power. These individualspopular front" route. Theyradual spread of PCIby gathering converts from otherelements up to and including the left wing of the Christian Democratic Party.

Berlingucr's personal victory in theensures that advocates of an eventual deal with the Christian Democrats will hold sway for the time being. But rank-and-file doubts will grow if the policy does not soon yield concrete results. Many reportedly feel that the governing parties have, in effect, slapped the PCI's extended hand by their failure to move vigorously on social andlegislation.

This pressure Is already felt acutely In labor circles. Labor leaders were able tothe "soft" opposition policy to tbe rank-and-file until Inflation, spurred by the energy shortage, threatened earlier wage gains. In exchange for continuing the moderate policy, labor eipected rapid implementation ofthat would Improve worker benefits and create more Jobs. The longer these reforms nre delayed, the more difficult It will become for the PCI Io resist pressure from organized labortiffer opposition.

all of these reasons, Berlinguermove too fast We would not leadovernment If it would causeand defections at thelevel. Unlike many otherthe PCIass party, and aenter the government would have toand generally accepted bymajority of the rank-and-file.

Governing Parties Still Resist

those Christian Democraticthinkeal with the PCIbe necessary would probablyto avoidilution of Christianinfluence. The three left-wingcomprise aboutercent ofwith the exception of the moreIn these factions, the Christianwould accept *uch an agreementcompelled by circumstances. Mosttherefore, probably regardcompromise'ast resort andor hope, that time has not run outalternatives. If they do concludedeal with the Communists is necessary,try to time the bargaining tn such ato secure cooperation oa terms thatexpensive with respect to Christianinfluence and prerogatives.

smaller governingSocial Democrats, andhave more to lose than to gainChristian Dernocratic-CommunlitThey would lose Influence under such

an arrangement and fear of tills prospect could encourage ihcm to be more flexible on (he issues that have paralyzed the center-left coalition. The Socialmostanti-Communists in thehave indicated that they may try to organize the three partiesay-lefthey believewo-5ided coalition between the Christian Democrats andloc Is the only way to Isolate the Communists In the post-referendum period.

Mixed Feelings In Moscow

he Soviets could ill afford to be seen opposing the entry of the PCI into the Italian government. But the Soviets would see both advantages and disadvantages In such a

On the one hand. Moscow would fear that the PCI entry might lead toturmoil and right wing reaction in Italy, have adve.se reactions elsewhere in Europe on Soviet detente policies, complicate relations with the US, and add to the difficulties of maintaininginfluence over the PCI and possibly other Communist parties. There is ample evidence of Brezhnev's distrust andof BerUngucr.olitical success for the PCI might convey unwelcome lessons to other Communist parties under Moscow's tutelage.

On the other hand, the Sovfcls would seerespectability in Europe and elsewhere of Communisthance to push Italian foreign policy in pro-Soviet or at least neutralistore congenial Italian stance on such matters as CSCE and MBFR, and opportunities to divide Italy from its allies and to weaken NATO.

lthough Moscow's Influence woold probably not be decisive on this Issue, the Soviets would focus their ads-ice on the matter of the terms of participation, urging the PCI to demand maximum advantageseans of holding the party together along traditional lines. If the PCIole In the government on terms not approved by Moscow, Moscow might attempt to discipline it by threats to reduce financial support,ore likely instrument would be appeals to the PCI rank-and-file.

IV. LOOKING AHEAD

Alternative possibilities for the future rangeontinuation of the present "cloakroom" relationship between theDemocrats and Communists to formal PCI entry into tile government andto cabinet posts. Communistin the coalition could come about through two basic routes. The first and mostth to power lies In an emergency situation, such as an unsuccessful right-wingotal economic collapse. Theavenue Isonger-term process under which the PCI would gradually chip away atbarriers between ibelf and the governingBerlinguer's "historic compromise."

The Communists are likely, at theto maintain their present degree ofEven if the Christian Democratsay to blunt the PCI driveirect role in th" government, the Communists willtneir large electoral base, and theirin parliament and local goverrunents-

The circumstances most likely to bring the PCI into the government rapidly are an unsuccessful coup attempt by right-of-center military and civilian elements or the further deterioration of tho economy to tbe point of collapse. Several separate groups of plotters

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have reportedly engaged In planningorceful changetronger government. At least under present circumstances, attempts hy groups of this sort would probably involve some bloodshed and would be resisted by all organized political forces from the PCI to the conservative wing of the ChristianParty, and might easily impel them Into on emergency coalition government.

An economic collapse could also lead toovernment The current economic crisis, together with an upsurge in politically-motivated violence, has sparked consldr.abie speculation about the possibilitynational safety" coalition, but the economy has noi yet deteriorated to the point necessary toa consensus In favor of this alternative.

If no emergency arises to facilitate PCI entry into the government, the Communists will continue to follow the "historicstrategy in one form orhristian Democratic-Communistachieved in this way would probably have to evolve through several stages. In all probability, there would be an increase In collaboration between the two parties at the local government lcveL Before the Socialists were brought into Ihe national governing process In the, for example. Christian Democratic-Socialist alliances were formed in Milan. Genoa. Florence. Rome, and Palermo. Relations between the Christian Democrats and Communists have not yetto this stage, although inocal governments there is evidence of behind-the-scenes cooperation between the two parties. Where the PCI does enjoy power in local governments. It Is usually In collaboration with the Socialist Party.

CI participation In Ihe nationalcoalition might also be preceded by the formalization of Iherelationship between the PCI ond the governing parties. This would gradually be made more visible and might lead to anunder which the coalition's majority would include PCI support in parliament There are elements in the Socialist Party and int wing of the Christian Democratic Party which already favor such aThey reason that PCI support could provide the margin required to passso far successfully blocked bymembers of the coalition parties.

erlinguer has been somewhat vague on the timing of the 'historic compromise" route, although be usually refers to itong-term process. The PCI does not appear prepared to accept actual membershipoverning coalition at this time, although it is clearly ready for at least limitedconsultations In parliament, for example.

The PCI would probably prefer on balance to come into tne government through the gradualcompromise* route rather than an emergency situation. In an emergency situation, the other parties might well try to returnore traditional alignment as ihc crisis receded. The Communist Party could find It difficult to explain itsto the rank-and-file once normalwere restored. Tbe "historicavenue, on the other hand, would give the PCI time to adequately prepareovernment role and "condition" Ihe ruling parties for such an eventuality.

It the PCIull coalition role, the party could be expected to claim several cabinet posts. The Communists have never made dear their cabinet preferences, but they would almost certainly not bo content with only minor posts. The Communists would, of course, place highest value on such sensitive

se

as defense, foreign affairs, andbut their chances of getting them would be slim, and they probably accept this. The Christian Democrats would almost certainly hold on to these posts. The PCI would have to settle for some Importantlabor, justice andwith several minor slots-Some Politicol Side-EffectsD-PCI Deol

oth the Communists and Christian Democrats would try to Initiate collaboration inay as to avoid sending shock-waves through the Italian politicalapprochement between these traditionaltogether account for two-thirds of thebe bound, however, to affect Italy's long-term political evolution.

Both parties would have difficultytheir cohesiveness which,egree, has been based on their opposition to each other. This would probablyore serious problem for the Christian Democrats than for the Communists, who are more disciplined and have taken steps to prepare their members for the concept of the PCIoverningho Christian Democrats have mounted no comparable effort tu prepare their rank-and-fileeal with the Communists.

Many conservatives who would defect from the Christian Democratic Party couldaven in tlie neo-fascist Italian Social Movement, now Italy's fourth largest party. Some conservative Christian Democrats might even try toew political party.

Considerable attention has been given in recent years to tlie question ofrevision. The general aim of thesehas been to streamline the executive branch and ensure more stable government.

Whether such proposals fade or are given more serious attention after Communist entry Into the government would depend on how well the broadened coalition functioned.oalition Including the Communists proved us Ineffective bS other combinations, pressure for constitutional change would increase since the last resort under tlie existing framework would have been tried and found wanting.

The Communists value highly the power they have attained through thesystem which they helped tothey would be cautious about efforts to change it. They wouldlobby, however, for some Institutional changes that would strengthen advantages they already have under the present system. They might try, for example, to endow theegional governments with more powers and to givearger voice in economic

The PCI, however, would not be likely toevolutionary posture and demand sweeping changes in the constitutional order. The PCI participated in the drafting of the constitution and has generally made it work to the party's advantage. The party would also be restrained by the vested interests of many of its followers in the existing system. The PCI's work wi'h'r the system has provided bureaucratic-type jobs for many Communist followers and thus had the effect ofthe party's pragmatic tactics.the PCI's influence in local governments, especially in its Bed Belt power base, depends more on the satisfaction of concrete personal and groupsuch activities as profit-makingon its espousal of revolutionary ideology.

Communist participation wereby an appropriate lead-in period,and right-wing opposition to itbe able to find an issue on which to rally

SE'

or to precipitate counteraction. If the two partieseal too hastily, however, there wouldistinct possibility of some type of violent action rimed at the overthrow of the government.

most circumstances, however,attempt in Italy would probablyacquiescence of the Carabinierivery Important to any such attempt,acquiescence is questionable. It isthat many in the middle andof the military would gooup attempt were successfulcoup leaden would haveorkable government.fail, it would only reinforce the PCIa share of governmental power. If aled or sponsored by prominentleaders, some of thesebe reduced, but even in this case,to carry it out against thethe PCI would involvo serious risks ofand economic turmoil In Italy.

V. THE PCI IN GOVERNMENT

following assessment Isto describe how the PCI wouldif itoverning rolelong-termcompromise"of It would also apply to PCIan emergency government, assumingPCI remained in the government afterhad receded. By Its nature,the latter type of governmentIn Its early stages on certain urgentsuch as the restoration of civil orderstabilization of the economy.

Domestic Affairs

In the government, thewould probably not insist on radicalto Italy's domestic problems. Theypursue goals similar to those sought by the Socialists during tho last decade, but with more discipline. The emphasis would be on social, economic, and administrativeIn such specific areas as housing,medical facilities, southern development, pensions, fiscal policy, and the national bureaucracy.

Berlinguer Is now on record in favor of promoting stable economic growth as the most effective way of Increasing workerCommunist endorsement of this concept with which the governing parties can have no quarrel, means that disagreementsoalition that included the PCI would center on means rather than ends. It also means that the Communists would hesitate to encourage excessive strike activity or other laborthat would severely disrupt productivity.

At the last party congress, Berlinguer acknowledged that the public sector has grown more in Italy than In any other EC country and Indicated that the Concnunirts do not advocate further sweeping nationalizationatter of principle. The PCI favors. Instead closer parliamentary supervision of existing state entitles and the dilution of Christian Democratic control over the public sector.

If admitted to the government,the Communists probably would not gain major concessions from tbe Christian Democrats on this score. The Christianhave always kept the Ministry of State Participations for themselves (it has never goneocialist 'd center-leftnd they would almost certainly not yield that portfolio to the Communists. Bather, they might agreetate takeover ofof the few industries stillfor nationalization by the PCI.

Communists would not be likelyto put limits on tho freedom of tho press

or other media, at least during the early stages of their participation In national government. Their record so farn the contrary, that they would probably try to work with the non-communist presi. The partyistory of pragmatic accommodation, for caampte. In Its dealingseading conservative dally based In the PCI stronghold of Bologna.

primary domestic goal of thebe the neutralization of any forcesof participatingight-wingCommunists have traditionally beenaboutrospect They axeembarked on an effort to Improverelations with the police and theby supporting improved pay andconditions for lower levelthese fields. The governing partiesshownncreased willingness toon neo-fascist groups (technicallyby thend the PCIencourage this tendency.

Foreign Affairs

policy questions, as amuch more to Italian politicalthe Italian public lhan foreignpolicy, nevertheless, would beIssue In the political bargain'ngCommunist entry into the government.

membership In thecoalition would havo little effect ontoward tbe European Community.strongly opposed the ECconcluded several years ago thatprosperity, and by implication, Iheof the PCI's working classfn large part from the country')In the community. The party hasEC membership and wouldto do sooverning party. Itcontinue to agitate for theof the Community, Le, directto the European Parliamentarger voice for European labor In Community decision-making.

he most sensitive foreign policywould undoubtedly be Italy'sIn NATO, to which nil of thertles are committed. PCI propagandists for yeanyword of Ihe slogan, Italy out of NATO, and NATO out ofhe PCI has gradually moderated Its position, however, and at2 party congress Berlinguer asserted that the NATOould do longer be approached withimpleThe PCI has made clear that It does not intend to agitate for Italy'sfrom NATO now or immediately upon entry Into the government The Communist position now centers on support for the"abolition of blocs" but stops short of calling for tho dissolution of NATO in the absence of parallel dismantling by thePact This positica has narrowed the gap between the PCI and the governing parties on the NATO question, and may enable them to find enough common ground so that this Issue would not prevent Communistin tbe coalition.

There is some disagreement within thecommunity over how serious an Impact PCI entry into the government would have onnd Italy's commitment to if.

The following four paragraphs reflect the views of the Director of Central Intelligence, StateflNR, NSA, and most element* of the CIA.

CI entry into the government would ent.il adverse, though not necessarily dls-cjlrous, consequences for NATO and Italy's role in it Once In tbe government thewould seek lo prevent any increase in Ihe US or NATO presence in Italy. The party might eventually agitato more forcefully

for (he removal of existing US bases. Although the PCI has done thisin the case of the US nucleartending facility at Lahas so far stopped short of forcing parliamentary votes on such Issues. PCI membership In the government would of course lecd to difficult security problems for Italy's full participation In NATO activities, p

B ne need kTteeTT

a consensus wnnin Ihe-government would, moreover, hinder Italy's ability to respond rapidly to situations requiring coordinated alliance action.

SI. In general, the PCI would probablyon tbe narrowest possible interpretation of Italy's NATO commitments, and would try to discredit the US military presence in Italy. The Communists would be likely to try to put restrictions on the use of NATO facilities and to pose obstacles for NATO exercises and other activities Involving the Italian armed forces. They would promote petty haras intents of US facilities based on legal and other{Events such as the recent press campaign alleging nuclear pollution at the La Maddelena facility would provide Idealfor the

he degree of PCI success In these efforts and the long-term consequences for NATO would depend on several factors. One would be the relative strength of the Christian Democratic Party at the time any agreement wasterms It was In position toon with respect to the limits on PCI over external policy. Another factor would betho state of detente.

s for the effects on NATO of PCI entry Into theontinuation of the international detente atmosphere.CI policy of moderation, would make it more difficult for other European governments to persuade their own people of any need to increase resources to defendommunist threat; and probably would lead to increased divislveness within the Alliance. If. on the other hand, the PCI emphasized militancy on these issues, trt especially if the general atmosphere of East-West relations showed signs of reverting from detente, PCI participation in the Italianmight have some re-galvanizingon the political will of NATO members, even as it posed other problems for NATO. In these circumstances, of course, there would also be very strong pressure for the removal of the PCI from the government

The fallowing three paragraphs reflect the oirtvs of DlA. Army, Nocy, Air Force, and certain elements of CIA.

86a. Once established in the government, the Communists would,inimum, seek to prewnt any increase In US or NATO presence in Italy. Indeed the part': would probably soon agitate for the removal of existing US bases. Although the PCI has routinelythe US military presence in Italy-most recently in the case of the US nuclear submarine tending facility at Lait has so far stopped short of forcingvotes on such issues. The Communists would be likely to try to put restrictions on the use of all NATO facilities and otherInvolving the Italian Armed Forces. At the same time they would probablyIncreased contact with Warsaw Pact military forces. Including port calls by units

SECI

the Soviet naval forces In theOnce It succeeded In strengthening its position ln the government, the PCI would almost certainly move to withdraw Italy from the alliance altogether.

87a. PCI membership In the Italianwoulderious blow to an Alliance already hard pressed to maintain Its military effectiveness In the face of widespreadfor detente, economic problems of crisis proportions,ost of divisive Issues.participation in the Icelandic andgovernments has already causeddifficulties for NATO. Italyuch more Important role In the Alliance than either Iceland or Portugal, however, and the Impact would be much greater. PCIIn an Italian government would make It moro difficult for the other NATO members to persuade their own people that Increased resources beo defend against the Communist threat DIvisiveness within the Alliance would be furthersome countries, such as Greece, might use the issueretext to withdraw from various cooperative projects and operations involving Italy.

iCrave problems would arise from the outset with respect to Italy's participation In nuclear defense planning and operations. I

(The need toonsensus within tne government would severely limit Italy'sto respond rapidly to situations requiring coordinated alliance action. It would further call into question tho alliances ability toquickly and effectively to any Warsaw Pact military actions against NATO or anNATO member,

88a. Even if PCI militancy on NATO matters had some rcgalvanizing effect on the political will of other European NATOit would be transitory. (This was tbe case in the period following the Sovietof Czechoslovakia. In these circumstances, translation of some temporary Increase in Western Europe's political will Into enhanced military capabilities would be minimal.

On broader International Issues, the Communists would In general try to nudge Italyore neutral posture. Italy has traditionally given firm support to the conceptlose partnership between the US and Western Europe. The Communist Party's official line on Europe is almost Caul-list by comparison. The PCI has showninterest in the conceptnited Europe but argues that such an entity shouldeutral force between East and"friendly to both the US and then the majority of International issues, however, the Communists would support the USSR, and their presence in tho government wouldew assessment of Italy's reliability as an ally.

Recent events suggestthe longerPCI might find it easier to push Italian foreign policy in this direction. The Communists, for example, have longa swing to the Amb side in thest conflict; Italian policy makerslearly pro-Arab position in theof the October war. The PCI has for years railed against the Western oil companies and encouraged moves to supplant them with

Ihe Italian itate company (ENI) whfwff possible: the newlantep in this direction.

isagreements, wilh the US over such specific issues have been accompanied, In recent years, byIn recent opiniona general preference for Italian participation in an Independent Europe, wi'h less emphasis onhe US. This trend has not cancelled out the complex of close ties which underlies US-Italian relations historically, but if ItIndefinitely It would certainly erode thrill.

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