Craxi's Years of Italy 2

Craxi’s Years of Italy Part II


On this last aspect heated debates and controversies developed. According to, the new provisions, in fact, which envisage on the one hand the obligation for the state to ensure religious education and on the other hand the option to use it, to be declared at the time of enrollment of students (“without their choice being able to give place to any form of discrimination “, art. 9), soon came into conflict with the ambiguous dictation of the additional protocol to the concordat where there is talk of” placement within the framework of lesson times “for the teaching of the Catholic religion: this term was made explicit in 1985, in the agreement – foreseen by the concordat – between the Minister of Public Education and the President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, with the inclusion of the hours of religion in the normal timetable of the subjects. As a result, in many cases, for the minority of those who did not use the teaching of the Catholic religion, an interruption of the school timetable that was difficult to reintegrate. In this way, an environmental and psychological pressure of the majority was created towards these students and their parents, such as to make one lose the eminently optional character of religious teaching. The lengthy disputes and jurisprudential decisions that followed largely ended with the judgments of the Constitutional Court (n.203 of 1989 and n.13 of 1991) which reaffirmed the optional nature and delegated the solution of the problems to the school authorities. organizational.

At the end of 1984 the terrorism of the massacres struck again. On 23 December in S. Benedetto Val di Sambro, at the exit of the Apennine tunnel of the Florence-Bologna railway line, a bomb exploded in a wagon of the Naples-Milan rapid, causing 15 deaths and over a hundred injured. The attack, similar in all respects to the one carried out in the same place on the Italicus trainin August ten years earlier and attributed to right-wing extremism, it was the work of organized crime and the perpetrators – unlike the previous one – were identified and condemned. Left-wing terrorism (Red Brigades and other contiguous formations), defeated politically and organizationally eradicated, in those years gave some “ backlash ” with the killing of the economist E. Tarantelli in March 1985, of the former Republican mayor of Florence L. Conti in February 1986, of General L. Giorgeri in March 1987, of the jurist R. Ruffilli in April 1988: murders that demonstrated the difficulty of eradicating all the roots of left-wing terrorism,

Alongside the episodes of endogenous terrorism, the Italy it was once again the scene of a serious attack by Palestinian terrorism. On December 27, 1985, at Fiumicino airport (where, in December 1973, the attack on a PAN AM plane killed thirty), an armed attack against the counters of the Israeli company El AL and the US TWA caused thirteen victims, seventy wounded and the killing of three terrorists. THERE. it was unable to be entirely sheltered from the designs of terrorism even though the traditional policy of equidistance towards the Palestinian question was further accentuated in the months immediately preceding it. On 7 October a Palestinian commando had seized the Italian ship Achille Lauro on a cruise in the eastern Mediterranean and an American Jew murdered. On 10 October, after the return of the ship, the result of negotiations with the PLO leaders, a moment of serious tension opened with the United States. When the US fighter forced the Egyptian plane, carrying the PLO kidnappers and mediators, to land at the NATO base of Sigonella in Sicily, the Italian government intervened firmly in opposing the American request for the extradition of the Palestinians. The executive’s attitude met with consensus on the left, but aroused angry opposition from Republicans who threatened the withdrawal of their delegation from the government. Craxi resigned, but the President of the Republic, the Christian Democrat Cossiga – who had taken over from Pertini, on 24 June 1985, being elected with very large suffrage on the first ballot -, he sent the ministry back to the chambers that granted confidence. Even later the Italian government wanted to distinguish itself from US politics when the Americans bombed Libyan radar and missile positions in March 1986 and in the following May Tripoli and Benghazi in response to terrorist attacks. On this last occasion, the launch of two Libyan missiles that did not reach their target – a US radio station on the island of Lampedusa in Italy – led to the strong protest of the Italy against Gaddafi. However, it seemed that the initiatives of prudent “ uncoupling ” from the USA of our foreign policy, led in recent years by Andreotti, were more productive for internal purposes,

The re-edition of the Craxi government took place on 1 August 1986, after an agreement was reached between DC and PSI on the subsequent passage of a Christian Democrat exponent (it was intended that he was the secretary De Mita re-elected in May by the 17th Congress) to leadership of the executive. The long socialist presidency was now beginning to be regarded as disturbing for the relative majority party. This ” relay ” was supposed to have taken place in March 1987 and the first months of that year were marked by innumerable controversies between the two parties over the validity of the agreement. The impossibility of finding a meeting point and the need, above all of the PSI, to carry out an electoral verification of the balance of power, a verification that now appeared physiological after four years – the usual interval between elections in major Western democracies – quickly led to the end of the legislature. From 1972 the ” natural ” five-year deadline set by the Constitution was no longer respected.

With the resignation of Craxi (March 3, 1987), a crisis began characterized by a repeated game of parties in which none of the protagonists intended to openly declare their objectives. Cossiga first entrusted the task to Andreotti, then an exploratory mandate to the Speaker of the Chamber, the communist N. Iotti. Having ascertained, or so it was believed, the willingness of the political forces to give life to a new five-party coalition, the Craxi government was sent back to the chambers in search of a parliamentary solution to the crisis. But then the Christian Democratic ministers resigned en bloc. A new post was entrusted to the former Minister of the Interior, the Christian Democrat OL Scalfaro, who failed to do so. Finally, the president of the Senate A. Fanfani formed a government in anticipation of new elections. It was a Christian Democrat monocolor composed of the Christian Democratic ministers of the previous government with the inclusion of numerous ” technicians ”. Fanfani did not obtain the confidence for the abstention of the DC and the PRI. Thus the elections were held with a Christian Democrat and not a socialist government. At the same time, the referendums on nuclear energy, on the civil liability of judges and on the parliamentary investigating commission were postponed, issues on which there was no consensus in the old majority.

The four-year period that ended seemed to mark a happy season. In a meeting between the representatives of the major industrial powers in London, Craxi was able to declare (February 10, 1987) that in terms of gross domestic product the Italy it had overtaken the UK. In reality, the positive economic situation, the relaunch of production, a widespread new prosperity and its ostentation hid, among others, two basic problems that tended to worsen: the continuous expansion of public debt and the system of political corruption.

Craxi's Years of Italy 2