The Crisis of the Italy Political System Part 8

According to countryvv, Scalfaro had come to the choice of Ciampi after the leader’s candidacies had fallenSegni referendum (who left the DC and on the run with the new Christian Democrat secretary M. Martinazzoli) and R. Prodi. Ciampi expressed his intention not to open formal consultations, but to stick – for the indication of the ministers – to the spirit and letter of art. 92 of the Constitution and to move towards “a government of the President”. On April 28, the new ministry was announced. There remained some ” political ” ministers from the previous government, either in previous posts, such as Mancino at the Interior and Russo Jervolino at Public Education, or in new posts, such as Andreatta at Foreign Affairs; and some ” technicians ” remained, such as Conso alla Giustizia, Barucci at the Treasury, Ronchey at Cultural Heritage. Three ministers of the PDS entered, V. Visco alle Finanze, L. Berlinguer at the University, A. Barbera at Relations with Parliament. L. Spaventa, from the same area, was entrusted with the Budget. To F. Rutelli, one of the leaders of the Greens, the Environment. The reform intent in the electoral and institutional field was testified by the presence of L. Elia (DC), as minister without portfolio for institutional reforms alongside Barbera, vice president of the Segni committee for referendums. On the morning of April 29, the new government swore and took office. In the afternoon the Chamber addressed the discussion on the authorizations to proceed against Craxi. The ex-Socialist secretary gave a speech in which he recognized the illegal system of party financing, but extended it to everyone. He attacked the Milanese judiciary and the press guilty of having issued sentences in advance: “… so many denied and unspoken truths have come to the surface one after the other and many others will come, they can and must still come. And while many still consider themselves sheltered, behind a rule of reticence and lies, no human, reasonable and constructive remedy has been taken. Instead, with the force of an avalanche, a process of criminalization of parties and the political class has made its way, a generalized and indiscriminate process, which has particularly affected the political class and the governing parties, even if, for the part that began to emerge, did not spare others, as it was and as it will sooner or later be inevitable. “The call from correo, the specter of a further shower of warranties, the widespread awareness of many potential investigators, the irritation towards the newly established government that wants to ignore party logic, the threat of new elections outside the protection of the proportional system, the desire to limit the risk to charges for illegal financing, all converge in a surprise vote. The authorization to proceed against Craxi is granted for the minor charges, denied for the more serious ones. To explain what had happened, the comments stressed that many more votes had to be added to the five-party majority with the aim of deligitimating Parliament, hitting the new government, and soliciting immediate elections with the old system. On the same evening, after the vote in favor of Craxi, the PDS ministers – Visco, Berlinguer, Barbera – and the green Rutelli resigned. But Ciampi’s attempt continued, supported by the head of state:

On 1 May Scalfaro in a public declaration and in a letter to Ciampi indicated three priorities among the tasks of the new government: electoral reform in line with the indications of the referendum, the employment question, the reform of parliamentary immunity. The institution of immunity, created to protect the political convictions of parliamentarians, now seemed to be used as a barrier to investigations by the judiciary on common crimes. The controversy surrounding the Craxi case and the public bewilderment of its outcome forced the parties to speed up the review of immunity and to demand the immediate abolition of the secret vote on the authorizations to proceed. For his part, Andreotti announced that he was renouncing immunity and asked the judges to proceed quickly: the Palermo magistrates intended to investigate the statements of the repentants who had denounced alleged ties with mafia leaders and indicated Andreotti as the inspirer of the murders of the journalist M. Pecorelli (director of the tabloid weekly OP, killed in 1979) and of the prefect of Palermo Dalla Chiesa. On 12 May the Senate granted the authorization to proceed against Andreotti by voting by show of hands (the secret ballot had been abolished by Parliament except for the cases of request for arrest).

On 6 May Ciampi presented his government with a program characterized by the intent to favor the new electoral law for the Chamber and Senate as much as possible, to continue with privatizations, to heal the debt by reducing and controlling spending, continuing the fiscal battle with objectives of equity. The novelties were not in the intentions: they were rather entrusted to the competence and operational capabilities of a ministry made paradoxically stronger by the absence of a large pre-established and therefore binding majority, as well as by the breadth of a consensus that derived from the emergency situation and by the lack of alternatives. The parties of the old majority (DC-PSI-PSDI-PLI) voted in favor of the government while the PDS, Lega Nord, PRI and Verdi abstained.

Meanwhile, the political struggle was rekindled, thanks also to the aggressive language of the League, around the first verification of the new electoral systems represented by the direct election of mayors in the administrative consultations scheduled for June 6.

The Crisis of the Italy Political System 8