The major news of the political elections of 14-15 June 1987 were the success of the PSI, which earned almost three percentage points, and the entry into Parliament of environmentalists, the Greens, with thirteen deputies. The DC recorded some recovery, while the PCI lost almost 3%. Minor secular parties that gave votes to both the DC and the PSI also fell.

According to threergroup, the alignments in Parliament let us prefigure a relatively quiet legislature in the wake of the previous one. The crisis of the PCI and the rise of the PSI were not such as to achieve the rebalancing of forces that should have guaranteed socialist hegemony, but they were sufficient not to extinguish the conflict between the two parties and effectively block any intention of an alliance on the left.. Therefore, the revival of the DC-PSI axis within which the socialists privileged a part of the DC, the moderate one of Forlani and Andreotti, which will be the winner at the 18th Congress of February 1989, maintaining all the reasons for the clash with De Mita, is inevitable.

This system of relations will give life to a series of weak governments, immobilized by the difficulty of carrying out the changes of course required for some time and by the fear of facing the new scenarios that were taking shape starting from 1989. If the European elections of June 1989 substantially maintain the balance of power existing between the major parties and confirm the rise of the green lists, already in May 1988 the administrative offices had registered the significant success of the Lombard League; but the confirmation that something decisive was advancing in the North will come at the regional in May 1990 when the lists with an anti-centralist, anti-fiscal, federalist program showed a remarkable capacity for aggregation also by virtue of a propaganda marked by anti-southernist and xenophobic slogans. In particular, the Lombard League, led by U. Bossi, with 18.9% will exceed the PCI by a narrow margin in Lombardy (in sharp decline throughout Italy), but by more than five points the PSI, placing itself in second place behind the DC. At the same time, the crisis of the communist system in Eastern Europe and the repression against students in China caused in a large part of the PCI a serious disorientation and an acceleration of the detachment from the communist tradition: an operation never faced with determination both due to the resistance of the party and of the militants, and for the illusion of being able to create a different political model that would first of all avoid any confusion with the Italian socialist and social democratic parties.

Precisely these two new elements will seem to suggest as early as 1991 to anticipate the electoral round to give a measure to the changes taking place. The expectation of a communist collapse that pushed the majority parties towards new political elections was balanced by the fear of an expansion of the phenomenon of the leagues which advised to postpone the test by using the final part of the legislature to proceed with those institutional reforms we were talking about for some time, but on which the dissent among the political forces was very high. Behind the formal compliance with the five-year deadline there was thus a substantial stagnation of the political initiative of the government and Parliament.

In the summer of 1987, after the political elections, all the elements of friction between DC and PSI reappeared. The socialists in fact vetoed De Mita’s candidacy for the presidency of the Council, which in fact was entrusted by Cossiga to a less prominent Christian Democrat, G. Goria, former Treasury Minister of the Craxi governments. On 29 July the new five-party government will take office. Like the previous ones, the Goria government will also set itself the goal of reducing the deficit (i.e. the cash requirement of the state sector), but like the previous – and subsequent – governments, the Goria government will also have to bow to the unstoppable increase in debt.. From 1987 to 1992 the deficit will thus go from 113.680 billion to over 163.000.

In the autumn, the referendums took place, which had been postponed since the spring due to the divisions between the parties of the majority and in particular due to the disagreements between the DC, in favor of nuclear energy and the development of research in this field, and the PSI which he had decided to move to anti-nuclear positions. By now the environmental sensitivity had created a majority in the country against nuclear power and the three abrogation questions in this matter obtained a very large majority. Equally broad is that in favor of the civil liability of judges and even higher than that expressed for the abolition of the parliamentary investigative commission for proceedings against the head of state and ministers. A very strong signal – the latter – of distrust towards Parliament and the political class.

The nuclear issue will leave further repercussions in March 1988 when dissent over the destination of the planned Montalto di Castro nuclear power plant will force the Goria government to resign, which had just succeeded in passing, amid innumerable difficulties, the finance law. The appointment of De Mita as head of the new government was at this point an obligatory choice. The Christian Democrat secretary, after a tiring negotiation on the program, will be able to get his government off the ground on April 13th. Also in this case it was a majority of five DC-PSI-PRI-PSDI-PLI. De Mita had long been one of the most tenacious advocates of institutional reforms, but not on the presidential hypothesis repeatedly advanced by Craxi (more recently in the form of the direct election of the head of state), but on that of the alternation of government that returned a decisive role to the PCI. These issues, as well as a certain rate of personal incompatibility between the two¬†leaders, made relations with the PSI difficult. On one point, however, the two parties found an agreement: the reduction of recourse to the secret vote in Parliament, a reform that could no longer be postponed after the countless ambushes of the “ snipers ” in which the Goria government had fallen. The amendments to the House and Senate regulations were approved by a narrow majority in the autumn of 1988. Another measure of great importance was the one that imposed, in matters of budget and state accounting, more rigorous technical procedures and analyzes for the changes. expenditure (Law no. 362 of 23 August 1988).

The Crisis of the Italy Political System 1