THE ITALIAN SOCIALIST PARTY

Created: 5/18/1961

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ITALIAN SOCIALIST PARTY

effort! to break the near stalemate among the Italian political parties bava focused on the attempts of Pletro Nennl and other Italian Socialists to move the party away from Its earlier alignment with the Communists to positive support for the governingDemocrats Successive postwar elections have brought the Communist vote closeuarter of the electorate, while that of the four center parties now amounts to little over half. Tbe Socialists currsntly poll nearlyercent of thevote; if tbe party switched its support to the Christian Democrats and carried moat of its slectoral following with it, the reault would be tbeof some realln parliamentary government.

Tbe Socialist party basey role la Italian politics sines tbeb century. The Communists split with tbe party ln nd Nennl successfully resistedwltb tbea4 butnlty-of-actloo pact. Tble pact waa reaffirmed4 but formally abrogated by the Soclallata

Moves toward Socialist -Christian Democraticbave been under way for overozen yeara but still face formidable obstacles. There are. of course, policy differences between the twoand strongly placed groups in each are working to prevent any understanding. Severance of tbe surviving tlem wltb tbe Communists, moreover, wouldoperating difficulties for the Socialist party; Socialists are still allied with thelnf Italy'socal governments, as wsll asumber ofconsumer cooperatlvee, and these relationships areImportant for financing the Socialist party organization.

The association ofand Communists ln tbe CGIL, Italy's largestreater problem.officials In the COIL wield no real power, and many of them have long resenteddomination of tbe With company unions and unorganized workersin number, however trade unionism as such is st present on the defensive lo Italy, and the dlvlalon of tbe major non-Cosaninlst unions into twoprovides noalternative to tha CGIL for tbe Socialists.

Soclaliat labor leaders fear that ths chief result of any split ln tbe COIL at this time wouldet loss In labor's Industrial bargaining power and Its ability to bring pressure on tbe government.political leaders fesr thatreak would also lose tbe party votes unlessbymoves on tbe part of tbe government.

Nennl, who is nownd generally conceded to be one of the country's shrewdestapparently had decided as early1 that continued association with the Communists would never restore his party to leadership of the Italian left or put hla back Into the He alao seeas to haveprogressively disenchanted wltb Soviet Communism.

Following the dvsth ofMeoal began to extricate his party from Its ties wltb tbe Italian Comaualsta snd later to nove toward aaaoclatlon wltb the Christian Democrats. This delicate operation was received with skepticism by the Christianaa to Nennl's sincerity and latsr as to bis ability to carry his party with bim. Tbe move has beenopposed not only by tbe Com-aunlsts but also by right-wing

JFK LIBRARY MANDATORY REVIEWJLK- A OOCUMSWT *

CURREST INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY REVIEW

botb lnaldo aad outside tbs Christian Democraticbecause of itson tbe Balance of povsr la Italy.

Current Socialist Prop

Nsnnl's basic problsa is to demonstrate to tbe Chris tlaa Democrats fals party's good faith and to get fromreturn for parllaaen-taryuid pro quo substantial enough to persuade tbe bulk of hla following tbat it mould be profitable to leave tbe Communists, many party Stalvarte are acutely aware of what has happened to Giuseppe Saragat's Democratic Socialist party since it formed aowith the

Saragat took mors than half tbe Soclallat dsputlea with bla when bs split with Rennl over continuedwith tbe Comnualate owever, bsleaeifth aa many as Nsnnl'sNennl held on to thename and moot of the party machinery, and partly because Saragat proved unable to push through reform measureeinister in tbe Christian- dominated government.

of Saragat 'eew white-collarback tooon after tbe break, and othere followed later. Since official Socialist negotiations collapsedive of Saragat'a deputies and ssveral of his party'sfederations have gone over to Nsnni, and it appears tbat reunification Is taking placs at tbe grass roots.

Ia0 provincial slsetlons the Saragatscored some slight gains. The oollapss of tbe monarchist

party say throw some former Monarchist deputies Saragat's way, but at tbe coat ofcertain Democraticvoters, at least In the north. In any case, Saragat's party Is regarded by Italian So-clalist party leader* as anof tbs consequencesove too far, too soon, to ths right.

At present Rennl must cope wltb several factloae within tbe party. His efforts to sake tbe party completely Independent are strongly opposedeft-wing group led by Tulllo Yecch-lettl and Including many pro-Communists. Rsoal ls supported on most Issuesroup led by Rlocardo Lombardl. faction under Lello Basso tries toalanee-of-pow-er role. Rennl coatrole moat of the party organisation, but ths left-wing faction obtalna funds from Communist sources and is usually better financed than be la.

Rennl'a own position now is somewhat strengthened by tbsparticipation wltb ths Christian Democrats la tbe governments of certain large cities. Including Milan, Genoa, and Plorenoe. Thiswhich came about early thla yearesult of the local elections last November, should la time belp tbe party'saa well as lte preetlge.

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7llrri,

at the tine

of tbe Socialist partyros. IS toarch, tbs full Impact of these local alliances had not been felt by those doubting the policy ofnib tbe ruling party. At this congress Nennl, who Isaster of ambiguity, took an unusually direct and vigorous lino againstwith the Communists. He obtained approval of the idea of Soclallat parliamentary sup-portoncreteut with onlyercent of the congress behind hla.

Nennl therefore must aove carefully because of bis slim majority and the continued strength of tbe leftwhich now has sixamong theembers on tbe new party directorate. Aa Italy's "ar.eaai appreciates that hla faction must hang on to the Italianparty and that any split must bs Initiated by tbs left wing. In view of tbe rough treatment given him during the congresa, Nennl probably vsnta to see ths most extreme of his opponents leave tbe party,some of these would try to stay and make as muchso possible.

That tbe Soclallat voters generally approve Nennl"smoves to the right Isby the over-all lnorease In tbe Socialist vote3 Estimates as to bow much of tbe party's electorate is behind Nennl range froaoercent. It Is clear, however, that this support is in the long run conditional on obtainingbrlatlaagovernment some of the reform measures bis party.

Sub-leaders In theprobablyewplums auch as Jobs lnholding companyin th* Fund forthe South, as wall asof Socialistla government Some of tbesewould, for variedopposition ia the

Relations With Christian Democrats

Nennlajor problem ln gaining the cooperation of tbe Cbrlatlaa Democrats In most domestic policies tbe Soclslist position Is close to that of tbe Chrlatlan Democrata' majority left wing, led by Premier Fan-fanl and party secretary Moro, tho principal advocates of Like this group, tbe Social lata urge controls on ss-curltlss and exchange, as well as sgrloultural reform of nuclear energy, and tbe tightening up of tbe Italian tax system.

To th* Socialists tbe aost laportant Chrlatlan Democratic platform plana* would probablj be: nationalization of energywith atomic energywn* Included In th* progran ofB Panfanl government; eatabllahatent of geographic region* a* provided by the constltutloo; and chool bill involving greater separation of church and state.

To narrow tbe wide area of disagreement between the two parties on school reform, Nennl has ln recent months been toning down the Socialists' traditional anticlerical At least ln local and regional politics, moreover, familiar considerations ofself-interest cango far to overcome is seen ln the capital of lletl near Rome, where left-wing Socialists sad right-wing Cbrlatlaa Democrats areln this small city government.

It la la this field of doaestlc refora, bowever. thatrogressive program

is aost susceptible to the veto of the Influential Christian Democratic right-wing minority, supported by tbe coassrvative Liberal party, on whose votes tbe government's tbln majority depends. It was ln order to rid himself of this bullt-lahaa rasultsd In inaction on many legislative refora* and hence feeds the Cosaunlst popularPaafanl ln0 sought toenter-leftdependent on tbelarge parliamentary vote. This effort was blocked by tbe right-wing Christian Democrats. In tbe vote of confidence given Fanfaal'sgoveromeat thsAugust, the Soclallatatbe first time lnearsallot of thisthan Join

the CoBBunlats ln .

In tbs sphere of foreign policy, tbs Nennl SocialistsSaragat's Democratic Socialistsopposed NATO but now accept itact of life. taly'a ratification of the European Common market treaties was actively oppossd by tbe CceeaunlstB, while tbe Socialists merely abstained.umber of more recent quest loos,from tbe0 summit conference to laat month'sinsurrection In Algeria, the Soclnllst position has differed Bbarply froa the At tbs same time, the party maintain* an officialaition of nsutrallty between the US andat tbe March congress Nennlattacked tbsof Italian Communis* to Soviet forelga policy, and he has atated privately that It wouldragedy for Italy to loss Its Western

Th* position Of the Roman Catholic Church hastrong factor ln blockingbetween the Christian Democrats and Mennl. Now tbe church itself appears somewhat more flexible toward local Even GenoaCardinal Slrl seems to have accepted the Soclallat -Christian Democraticin his city SB prsferable to theSocialist-

Communist administration. It Is not clssr. however, whether tbs Vatican sould try to block collaboration at tbs national lavel by withdrawing support from tbo Christian Democrata wltb ths ldsa ofow, right-wing. Catholic party.

Outlook

Powerful forces on both lsft and right see tbslrtbreatened by Socialist -Christian Democraticand the area of maneuver open to Nennl and Horo In their efforte to bring It about le at present Halted, Both tbe rightist and the Communistof such an alliance evidently hope to keep tbefroxen tilllections. Knowing tbat Kennl's tactics requireIssues on which hiefollowing will bo willing to give tbo governmentsupport, rightist* both lnaldo and outside ths Christian Democratic party will probably try various expedients to keep such legislation bottlsd up ls committee.

There is, on tho other hand, considerableanoog left-centerSocialists, Republicans, and right-wing ChristianPrs-mler Psafanl's preeentgovernment. It la little moreoldlog operation pledged to reelgn if any of tbe four divergent centerwithdraws Itssupport. Tbe succeesss achieved to date by tbe ofhristian Democratic alliances in city governments are encouraging further such moves in local or provincial articularly tbe regional government of political ataleeate has long persisted.

If, as sseme likely, ths government laats until fall, pressures may then build upew try at an avowedly reformist national government of the left-center relying on external support Is from Socialist party deputies. The likelihood of such an attempt amy be by the outcome of current negotiations for new governments In Sicily. Rome. Venice, andee of Milan. irET)

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