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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Bettino Craxi and Giulio Andreotti played a leading role in Italy’s political life in the 1980s. Andreotti rose to prominence as Defense Minister in the 1960s, developing close links with Washington. In 1976 he became prime minister, confirming his political acumen and his commitment to Atlanticism, while also pursuing European integration. Craxi became leader of the Socialists in 1976 and was able to establish his leadership and to renew the image of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), presenting himself as a radical reformer. Craxi led several cabinets in the 1980s, with Andreotti as foreign minister. The two successfully balanced loyalty to the US with an often independent stance on regional interests. Domestically, Craxi defeated inflation but, despite significant growth, was unable to carry out broader economic or constitutional reform. In 1989 Andreotti formed a new government, but soon after the eruption of the Tangentopoli scandal engulfed both him and Craxi, ending their careers.

Keywords: Italian Socialist Party (PSI), Christian Democracy, Bettino Craxi, Giulio Andreotti, Atlanticism, Tangentopoli

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