In 1955 the government of new premier Antonio Segni played an active role in the negotiations leading to the signing of the European Common Market treaty. But by early 1957 the Segni government was hampered by the same characteristics of immobilismo (“do-nothingism”) that had become characteristic of Italian governments. The elections held in 1958 confirmed a slight but steady drift toward the Socialist left, reflecting a widespread desire for social and economic reform. The Socialists and the Christian Democrats were the main gainers, and the parties of the extreme right the chief losers.
In the 1960s the hopes of the Christian Democrats and Socialists to make gains at the expense of the Communists were disappointed. Although a government measure nationalizing the electrical industry pleased the left, differences between Christian Democrats and Socialists over the creation of new regional governments led to government crises.
The moderate Socialists, however, entered the coalition government late in 1963. It was the first time the Socialists had agreed to enter a center-left coalition since 1947. Christian Democrat Aldo Moro became prime minister.
The Vatican strongly urged the Christian Democrats to put their house in order and, in addition, cracked down on left-wing Catholics interested in carrying on a “dialogue” with the Communists. Meanwhile, the Communists were shaken by the Socialist Party’s entrance into the government. During 1964 the conservative and left-wing elements in the government persistently and fundamentally disagreed. The situation was rendered more serious by signs that a six-year economic boom would be ending because the factions were unable to agree on a policy to counter the threatened downturn.
In 1965, however, the four parties in the coalition government agreed to set aside their political differences in order to take unified action against the economic slump. Throughout 1965 and 1966 the government headed by Moro maintained the confidence of the coalition parties. By 1966 the various factions of the Christian Democratic Party began to pull together under pressure from the church. "Italy" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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