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November 9, 2016
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March 18, 1998
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June 14, 1957
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CON IAL Approved For ReleaSe 1999/ -RDP80-01446R0001Q0050007-5 14 June 1957 MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Direct /Intelligence SUBJECT: Reflections on the Italian Political Crisis propo During e past year thts Staff has advanced the one; ng A. The Italian Communist Party (PCI) though it has no prospects of coming to power, Is a major danger to democratic Italy. As in France, the existence of a large Communist electorate awl par- liamentary representation imposes a permanent deformation on the body politic and seriously hampers responsible deliberation 41.nd decision. By sheer arithmetic, government by simple majority is impossible; in general a coalition is mandatory, which, if it is to avoid immobilism, must command the support of at least 60-70% of the non-extremist deputies. It is clear, in both countries, that this cannot be achieved under existing circumstances, and therefore the Communists are able to vitiate orderly, progressive government. There is no easy way out of this impasse. Hopes that the PCI and PCF would decline in elector- al strength as a result of the 1956 crisis have proven illusory, WI could have been (and, by SRS) was foreseen. between growing. The DC which has been held together politician, through US support, and through e relative firmness of the Catholic Church. The present crisis has exposed the precarious- ness of DC solidarity, at the same time that Zoli's (and presumably Fanfani's) tactics have destroyed whatever prospect for survival the quadripartite coalition may have had. The gratuitous insult to Sarigat, amply merited by his own vacillations, has confirmed the suepicion that the DC ultimately is contemptuous of its minor allies and cherishes the illusion that it can "go it alone". That it could win a majority of votes in the next elections is doubtful; that it could govern effectively, even if it did, is even more so, e tendency polar e oUtics s been C. The only, effe live way to break the debilitatin/ hold of Italian politic is to create a broad based democratic by a merger of the PSI and the PSDI. The essential 7 ? DGCf: NT k:0 NO CHf CL, S. I I DI 446R000100050007}; DA FE: -.2-5-'1`A144 r"? StC e a - Approved For Release 19 46R000100050007-5 weakness of Italian political life as pointed out in NIE 24-56 and by many competentstudents of the subject, is the lack of a viable alternative to the DC hegemony. Unless there exists the possibility of a "loyal opposition" within the democratic sector of the Italian Parliament the polarisation, referred to above, can not be avoided. D. A. merger of the two Socialist parties is feasible, There are many obstacles and flifficulties confronting Socialist reunification, and since February 1957 these have, at times, seemed insuperable. Nevertheless, as a recent public opinion poll has shown, the majority of the electorate of the two parties favor reunification. even though they are uncertain as to whether and how it can be achieved. It is the con- tention of this staff that the rank and file aspiration to restore socialism to unity an a democratic base is a healthy force which will grow and flourish if its leaders show willingness to make the necessary personal and political accommodations. by the PSDL The internal situation of the ure and confusing, owing in part to inadequate political to tendentious and provocative efforts by outside interests (to the right eft of Nenno, to intensify the overwhelming pressures with which ho has to contend. Nevertheless, we believe that a renewal of the favorable attitude displayed by the ?SDI in the Fall of 1956 would enable Nonni eventually to bring all but the crypto-Communist faction of his party (probably not more thin 20%) into a democratic merger. dete F. The prin?l force preventing this rayprocherneut is the rrnlnation of Staragats and those who are backing hlrrt, not to accept but o o C ATO or these two points is n ral. but, In the opinionof been pushed too far. Some compromise on both points an safely be made, counting on a progressive evolution of the PSI in a democratic and pro-Western direction, once it is confronted with the prospect of political responsibility, It hr dderable division within the Socialist Inter sues, there is little doubt that the great majority EYES ONLY ONLY Approved For Release 1999/09/08 : Cl TE1PritIENT1W-5 Approved For Release 1999/0/18Cr-Rc!?7,4301,-OV146R0001_00050007-5 EYE Furopean Socialist leaders would welcome reunification on the basis of detachment of the PSI from the. PC/. They would not be so concerned with the adoption of a specifically anti-Communist and pro-NATO posi- tion. Their general interest in the merger outcome is heightened by the prospect of a great poli deal struggle for dominance in a United Western Europe which wilt be fought out between the forces of Social Democracy and Chzistian Democracy. The role of the Italian Socialists, in confron- tation with the Dernocrasia Cristiana might be decisive in this conflict. 2.. The cur t political crisio has clearly demonstrated that the cannot govern alone. It cannot accept the support of the right ut danger of internal cleavage and it cannot restore the quadripar enter coalition formula. It apparently cannot successfully enlist the support of the PSI for an opening to the left. Indeed, probably even a "non-political" -caretaker government is excluded, in view of the not illogical contention of the PSI and PCI that the issues it would have to face, leach as budget and the European integration treaties, are "poli- tical". in to 3. inthelightc e fall seems yin iscast the elect% of unpleasant possibili weakness of the DC, of its hesitation and confusion, of its dependence on clerical and rightist elements, may have weakened it far beyond expecta- tions. There iv little prospect that the PSDI will gain strength; rather it is seriously threatened by a split of its left wing, further fragmenting the badly demoralized socialist sector. The PSI is also likely to split, perhaps the larger part reverting officially or de facto to unity of action with the PCI. The PCI, as matters now stand, is the only party which is likely to profit by the crisis. In the event the DC achieves a plurality of the order of 45%, the polarisation of the two leading parties will become alarming, 4. There remains the question whether,late stage of the anything would be gained by the US in modifying its attitude toward *list merger. It is the opinion of this staff, that had the US in 957 adopted a policy of detachment, coupled with discreet approaches the present crisis might have been averted, or at least assured of a favorable prognosis. This is obviously an =demonstrable contention, teak realities the prospect of elections tam. It is not the purpose of this paper .It is suggested however, that a number ie ahead. The exposure of the internal EYES ONLY Approved For Release 1999/09/08 : CIA- 446R000100050007-5 Approved For Release 1999/0 DP80-01446R000100050007-5 .f5tES ONLY though c tain facts support it. The critical problem remaine, as it has been in the past, the extent to which we would be able to infbuence the course of Saragat and FAL/dant If, as is widely believed in Italy, US influence on these two leaders is not inconsiderable, it might not be too late to bring some of it to bear. While this is a political judg- ment beyond the ken of SILS, we venture to suggest again that the US adopt a favorable or at least a detached attitude toward Socialist unifi- cation. Otherwise, we feel that Italy will face another five years of C ammunist cancer. 25X1A9a Chief, SRS DDI -4- EYES ONLY Approved For Release 1999/09/08 : CIA-R 446R000100050007-5 Approved For Release 1,999/09/11Z'.iN/ID Cover Memo 1611000100050007-5 Although this paper must undoubtedly be regarded as the official DIP position) it is worth noting that it does not bear the concurrence of Chief of the PP Staff. It is quite possible that he would, in fact, concur in this paper; nevertheless it remains my personal judgment that the DIP position is ranged essentially on an axis of the CI Staff, WEA Division and certain elements (I believe not all) of the Rome station. While the CI Staff, with its primary field of reference being the combattbg of Communism, has undoubtedly a major equity in policy determination on the subject of the Italian Socialist merger, it hardly seems to have the desired political detachment with respect to the purely Socialist aspect of this difficult problem. As I have previously indicated to you, I feel strongly that the primary staff responsibility for all matters bearing on Socialism should rest with the PP and not the CI Staff. This is of course) a DEP matter but I feel that the Director should be aware of the policy implications of this assignment of primary staff responsibility for Socialism, which, I submit) should be regarded essentially as a mutual political matter, to a staff whose raison d'etre is that of countering the hostile target of International Communism. Approved For Release 1999/09/MA Mtn" lA)11 Mr000100050007-5