Eurocommunism: The Italian Case

Eurocommunism: The Italian Case

Eurocommunism: The Italian Case

Eurocommunism: The Italian Case

Excerpt

On January 12, 1978, the U.S. Department of State issued a policy statement of a sort rarely made. The department declared its disapproval of the inclusion of a specified political party in the governing coalition of a friendly, allied, and democratic nation. The statement began by acknowledging reports that the Italian Communist party (PCI) was pressing hard for cabinet posts in the new government that would be formed after the resignation of the Christian Democratic party government of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti.

As the President and other members of the Administration have publicly stated on a number of occasions, our Western European allies are sovereign countries and rightly and properly, the decision on how they are governed rests with their citizens alone. At the same time, we believe we have an obligation to our friends and allies to express our views clearly. . . .

Our position is clear: We do not favor [Communist participation in Western governments] and would like to see Communist influence in any Western European country reduced. . . . The United States and Italy share profound democratic values and interests, and we do not believe that the Communists share those values and interests. As the President said in Paris last week: "It is precisely when democracy is up against difficult challenges that its leaders must show firmness in resisting the temptation of finding solutions in non-democratic forces."

Whatever one may think of the merits of the department's attitude toward increased power for the Italian and other Western European Communist . . .

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