CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY REVIEW; NEO-FASCISTS IN POSTWAR ITALY

Created: 5/12/1960

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NEO-FASCISTS IJf POSTWAR ITALY

recently formed cab-iDet of Fernandosuo uoaf postwar Italian government* io that his Cbrls-ttaoparty lafor lta majority In the lower house on the neo-Fasclst Italian Social Movementbla dnvoloonent, which came about orer vehement objections both Id and outside the ruling Christian Democratic party, has focused renewed attest loo oa tbe loag struggle of Italian Fascism to reassert andItself. As proponents of aa authoritarian, nationalist, antl-Coamunlst solution for Italy's political difficulties, the aeo-Fssolsta can hope to profit from continuance of the division within the Christian Democratic party.

Poatwar Development

At tbe end of WorldII, moat Fascists from the Mussoliniought a .'other

political groupings, including the Communist and Christian Democratic parties. mall hard core, however, Joined a

new group, tbe Common Manwas later absorbed byRevolutionaryInhe ^Italian Social

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aloo Include refugees fromItalian overseas territories, noncoaaalssloosd offlcere, police-nan, and civil servants, aa veil aa shopkeepers and artisans die-located by ths postwar changes In the Italian economy. Subject to sharp divergencies among Its hoodlum and conservative the MSI is at ths same time nationalist,arxist, and aatl-capltallst. Ia gensral it lsact which has not deterred former Catholic Action chief Lulgl Oedda froasuccessfully InDemocraticalliances wltb the MSI.

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Like theand bothparties, tbe neo-fascists at first were stronglyto the Morth Atlantic Treaty. The MSI now pays lip service to NATO and baa tried to Improve lte relations with Nevertheless, party supporters are still bitter over the Americas role lo tbe collapse of fascism, and tbe neo-Fascist paper Borgheae described Prea-ldont on hid European trip last fall asurderer who cornea back to tbe acene of bin crime."

Ths neo-fascists opposed ESC; they now object to the supranational aspscts of ths European Community. ense, the Issue of nationalism has been J1 sand by Europe'a poet-war efforts at Integration, and loat colonies, too, arean old story; corporativism ls still an uglj word. At the sane time, remnants of fnnclsa remain alive In most of Woaternshown by tbs anti-Semitic outbursts of tbs past winter.. Italy retains the dubious prestige of havingraselam, even though texs may haws administered It efficiently, and Italian

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maintain relations with those ln other countries through attendance at periodic International meetings such as that at Maimo, Sweden,

Domestically, the MSI is troubled by competition onot the Issues for which It stands. The Communistsonopoly on antlcapltallsm, the Christian Democrats onarxlsm. The lay democraticSocialRepubla more respectable home for antl-clerlcala. PracticallyIs republican, eventbe monarchist parties, both of which have formally become tbe Italian Democratlo party.

Nevertheless,the neo-Fas-clstsasic Italian nostalgia for Internationaland for the standingreat power, Italianla undergoing esult of Italian resentment over noBpartlclpa-tlon ln great-power conferences

and over OS cooloeas toward tbe Italian stats-owned oilIVI, aad its holdings abroad. Because the democratic tradition is not deeply rooted ln Italy, there Is nostalgia also for an authoritarian central government wbloh oan impose order.

Current Situation

There has beencomeback ofin field of

university professors, businessmen, and editorsthe diplomaticFascists had simply tlnued on.

trot iny fraction of labor. Ho stigma Is attached today in business and social life to the espousal of Fascist ideas, and aof fairly prominentDemocrats 'wore onceFascists, Fascist Marshal Giovanni Messe, Rommel's ln the Tunisian ishristiansenator.

The party got its first real break7 when Zoll reluctantly one neo-Fasclst vote as part of his majority ln the lower house. By the tins Segal'shristiancabinet was formed inthe rightistsupplying it parliamentaryinfluence onGovernment policy was becoming increasingly apparent. Segal's labor minister was tbe first toeeting of the neo-Fascist labor confederation. Italy's attitude toward the touchy South Tirol minority seemed to toughen under the nationalistic influence of the neo-Fascists, and military visits to Spain were stepped up.

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raaaoa, Limited working alllaacoM between the Christian Democrats and tbe MSI bavelaocal governments, including Hi Ion, Genoa, and tbe regional government of Sicily. The neo-raaclots recentlyto withdraw and precipitate crises lo these governments If the Christian Democrats shouldenter-left government at the national level. ational holiday commemoratinghof tome's liberation

De Marsanlch and Mlchellnl

by the Allies la World War II, ths Cbrlatlaa Democratic mayor of Rome waa "out of town" and so avoided offending tbe neo Fascists by being present for ths ceremonies and parads.

Whan tbe Liberal party withdrew its support of the Segnl government ln February, Segal resigned rather thansolely on neo-Famolat and monarchist votes. Fernando Tambronl, however, baa nowtheouch ofall other parties except his own. Thusow can poseatriotic supporter of the government in time of emergency.

General Raffaele Cadorna, cslebrated leader of thewartime resistance,voted ln tbe Senate In favor of Tambronl'supported government andhis membership ln tbe association of Italian reelst-ance fighters. Hla actionwin not be questioned by the post-Hussollnlwhich never participated ln tbe antl-Fasclstfighting: thatso favorably with the efficiency of the Italian armed forces ln World far II,

Tbe MSI's long-range prospects are not bright, aa Its leaders, who are not strong, have tbe problem of holding together itsandwings. Neither the present party secretary, Arturo Mlchellnl, nor his colleagus and prod-scessor Augusto de Maraanlcb, has succeeded In catching tbe public Nevertheless, tbe anarchic stats of Italian politics offers the MSI two pomalbleto exert strong influence on the government.

It can nope to profit from rising tensions between agovernmenteftistwhich could build upightist coup aimed at prevsntlng an "opening" to tbe Socialists. Neo-Fasclst bully boys would probablyajor

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Minister Pacclardl or Senate President merzagora, who appear to bare right-wingleanings.

Ifoup does notthe neo-Fasclsts can hope to exert Ideological influence more gradually in their role as allyhristian Democratic party apparently determined to stay ia power at all coots. the quest for makss them initially

Inexpensive allies, they would eventuallyuid pro quo, possibly Involvingof certain keypositionsoreItalian foreign policy. Because of the stigma still attached to thetheir Inclusion ln the government could be expected to bringeaction on the part of tbe Italian public toward the extreme left.

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