Abstract and Keywords
The Compromesso Storico denotes the strategy pursued by the Communist Party during most of the 1970s. The Left’s failure to capitalize on the social upheaval of the late 1960s, the 1973 coup in Chile, and the escalating political tension in Italy led party leader Enrico Berlinguer to adopt a strategy of long-term co-operation with the ruling Christian Democrats. Berlinguer also acknowledged the necessity of steps to confront the deepening economic crisis, and tried to bring the unions to heel in exchange for policies to favor the poor and institutional reforms. The Compromesso was never implemented as intended. However, between 1976 and 1979, although denied formal participation in government, the Communists gave external backing to single party DC cabinets. The Communists returned to the opposition. With the Socialists again open to governing with the DC, the Communists were marginalized for the remainder of the First Republic.
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