In an attempt to improve the effectiveness of the executive branch of the government, the Christian Democrats and their allies secured passage, in 1953, of an electoral reform bill ensuring the party in power of a working majority in parliament. The bill provided that a party or coalition polling 50 percent or more of the popular vote would receive 65 percent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
Parliamentary elections were held in June 1953. The Christian Democrats emerged again as the strongest party, this time with 40 percent of the votes. The Communists were second (22.6 percent), and the parties of the right, which registered the biggest gains (12.7 percent as compared with 4.2 percent in 1948), were third. De Gasperi was succeeded as prime minister by Giuseppe Pella, former minister of the treasury, who won the neutrality of the Socialists and the support of the monarchists. Intraparty differences, however, brought about the collapse of several governments in the following two years.
Late in 1953 the status of the Free Territory of Trieste brought Italy and Yugoslavia to the verge of war, but tensions abated after the United States, Britain, and France agreed to work out a formula acceptable to both sides. The subsequent settlement in 1954 allocated a zone including the city of Trieste to Italy; Yugoslavia received the rest of the Trieste region. Italy became a member of the United Nations in 1955.
After the painful years of postwar recession and reconstruction, Italy’s economy moved into a new phase of expansion between 1953 and 1963. This phase is generally referred to as “the economic miracle.” Thanks to low wages and U.S. financial support, Italy became a major manufacturer and exporter of consumer goods, which ranged from domestic appliances to motor scooters and popular Fiat cars. Encarta
Government expenditure on housing and highways supported the expansion, as did massive investment to create economic growth in Southern Italy. During these years Italians once again emigrated, emptying the poorer rural areas, especially those in the south. Some crossed the Atlantic or moved to other European countries, but others migrated to the rapidly expanding northern cities such as Milan and Turin, where Italy’s principal industries were located. "Italy" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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