Abstract and Keywords
By the mid-1950s it was evident that the centrist coalition was no longer practicable and, after a failed attempt to govern with the Movimento Sociale Italiano, the idea of involving the Socialists gained traction. This was facilitated by the growing consensus within the Democrazia Cristiana (DC) around the need for economic planning to ensure even economic development. However, party divisions meant that the “opening the left” was not endorsed until the 1962 party congress. The opening was made possible by the removal of Vatican and US vetoes, by the Socialists’ de-alignment from Communism after the Hungarian Uprising and by their acceptance of NATO. The alliance with the Socialists began in 1963 and lasted until 1968. However, the center-left governments did not live up to their initial reformist promise: the core of DC’s electorate was opposed and the Socialists lacked bargaining power to implement their agenda.
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