Italy in the 1970's 3

Italy in the 1970’s Part 4


Similar considerations can be made for the other important law, that on the ” fair fee ”. Strongly desired by the left, designed to regulate the cost of rents, to reduce speculation and to relaunch construction, it has produced opposite effects from the very beginning, especially in large cities. Even before the law came into force, the number of houses to rent was drastically reduced. A black housing market was then created (regulated by supply and demand and by far more remunerative than the fair rent) initially reported to the judiciary, effectively establishing itself as the only channel of access to housing for those who did not fall into the categories. socially more depressed or did not obtain the housing of large properties or entities with real estate assets through patronage. At the same time, the market for holiday homes expanded dramatically and subsequently the demand for apartments to be purchased as a first home in large cities exploded with very high price increases. The intertwining of approximation and populism at the origins of this law (but also of many other measures, especially in the matter of rescuing companies in crisis) contributed to creating elements of rigidity and bands of privilege such as to make rules considered universally ” unfair ‘unalterable. Any attempt to restore market mechanisms is unrealistic. If the itinerary to reach the reforms had been difficult, long and complex, the adoption of corrective measures will prove to be even longer if not impossible.

All this was also the result of a political practice that mixed incompatible principles (the return to the market and the protection of certain sectors), in which the boundaries between majority and opposition were lost, and at the same time of a method in which each party and trade union – with the substantial assent of the other protagonists – carved out its own protected social group by making corporate-type modalities and affiliations prevail. But it was also paradoxically the only way that in those years made it possible to create the conditions of consensus for the implementation of the reforms. The governments of ” national solidarity ” sanctioned this system and legitimized consociativism, a term used later to indicate above all that partition management and subdivision of power.

According to, the entry of the Communists into the majority therefore failed to set in motion that process of transformation of society and political life that public opinion, and not just that of the left, hoped for. That the deterioration of public life and the wearing down of the relationship between citizens and parties was already quite advanced was confirmed by two events in June 1978. On 11-12 the referendum was held, promoted by the radicals, for the repeal of the law (of 1974) on the public financing of parties: the repeal did not pass, but a very high percentage of voters, 43.7%, ruled in his favor (while the other referendum, the one for the cancellation of the Royal law, obtained little consensus) on public order). On the 15th the President of the Republic G. Leone resigned,

With the votes of all the parties of the constitutional arch, on 8 July the socialist S. Pertini, anti-fascist, leading exponent of the Resistance and former president of the Chamber was elected president of the Republic. A high-profile moral figure, he presented himself to Parliament and the country as an expression and guarantor of national unity. In the following years, his dynamic interpretation of the role of president, his criticisms of the political system, his straightforward and straightforward style won him a great popularity, such as to make him appear as the symbol of an Italy unaffected by political and moral degeneration.

The conditions of consensus between the parties that had led (albeit on the sixteenth ballot) to the election of Pertini did not reproduce in the following months, when instead the elements of dissent prevailed. The socialists, who proposed to lead a left-wing alternative as opposed to the historic compromise, were now clearly committed to restarting a privileged collaboration with the DC while at the same time annoying the PCI with attacks from the ” left ”. On the other hand, the Communists were finding it increasingly difficult to justify choices that made them appear to be the mainstay of the system; and while they were tempted to raise the price of their collaboration and ask for direct participation in the government, they were inevitably led to put an end to that experience. At the end of year the Communists vote against the accession of the Italy the European monetary system laid the foundations for the crisis. And the crisis inevitably opened at the end of January 1979 when on the one hand the requests of the PCI to participate directly in the government, on the other hand the perplexities of the DC on the continuation of collaboration with the communists made it clear that there was no longer the margin for maneuver that Moro had guaranteed until a few months earlier and that therefore an electoral verification of the balance of power would have been a mandatory step.

During the crisis, the designation of the leader was not lucky due to the cross vetoes of DC and PCIrepublican U. La Malfa, the first of a ” layman ” to the presidency of the Council after more than thirty years: a precise indication of how Pertini intended to modify an entirely Christian Democratic tradition. Eventually the post returned to Andreotti, but the differences between the parties made early elections inevitable, especially after the new government formed on March 20 by DC, PSDI and PRI did not win the confidence of the Senate. The President of the Republic dissolved the Chambers on 2 April and the elections were held on 3 and 4 June 1979. The most significant data of the electoral consultation was the downsizing of the PCI which lost 4% of the votes in the Chamber and 2.3 in the Senate. % triggering an unstoppable decline in votes. On the other hand, the success of the radical party (perhaps even at the expense of the PCI) was significant, seeing the referendum policy rewarded in this way. The other parties, with modest variations, showed substantial stability. In the elections for the first European Parliament, the following 10 June, there were some variations, with an increase in the PSI and the PLI and a decline in the DC, which even later will prove more difficult in the European consultations, in which a confrontation on ideas and programs that are still distant and out of date.

Italy in the 1970's 3