Partito Socialista Democratico Italiano

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Partito Socialista Democratico Italiano
party board Giuseppe Saragat (1947-1948/1949-1952/1952-1954/1957-1964/1976) , Alberto Simonini (1948-1949) , Ugo Guido Mondolfo (1949) , Ludovico D'Aragona (1949) , Ezio Vigorelli (1952) , Giuseppe Romita (1952) , Gianmatteo Matteotti (1954-1957) , Mauro Ferri (1969-1972) , Flavio Orlandi (1972-1975) , Mario Tanassi (1975-1976) , Pier Luigi Romita (1976-1978) , Pietro Longo (1978-1985) , Franco Nicolazzi (1985-1988) , Antonio Cariglia (1988-1992) , Carlo Vizzini (1992-1993) , Enrico Ferri (1993-1995) , Gian Franco Schietroma (1995-1998) (Party Secretary)
founding January 11, 1947 (as Partito Socialista dei Lavoratori Italiani/PSLI )
resolution May 10, 1998 (merged into: Socialisti Democratici Italiani )
ideology Social Democracy , Reformism

The Partito Socialista Democratico Italiano ( PSDI ; translated Socialist Democratic Party of Italy ) was a social democratic party in Italy that existed from 1947 to 1998 (until 1952 under the name Partito Socialista dei Lavoratori Italiani , PSLI, Socialist Party of Italian Workers ). It emerged as a split from the Partito Socialista Italiano because they opposed their collaboration with the communists . Its founder and longtime leader was Giuseppe Saragat , who was President of Italy from 1964–1971. With voting shares between 3 and 6 percent, it was one of the smaller parties in the “ secular ” sector in the political landscape of the “First Republic”, but often participated in governing coalitions with the Christian Democrats . As a result of the Tangentopoli corruption scandal , the PSDI faded into insignificance after 1992.

In 2004, the PSDI-Socialdemocrazia was founded as the successor party . However, with only 0.2% of the votes in the 2006 parliamentary elections, it no longer plays a significant role today and is not to be confused with the Socialisti Democratici Italiani (SDI). Like them, it was part of the center-left alliance L'Unione around Romano Prodi until 2008, but joined the Unione di Centro (UdC) after its dissolution .

The precursors: PSLI and PSU 1947–1952

Palazzo Barberini , historical site of the split of the so-called Piselli from their parent socialist party
Giuseppe Saragat , founder of the PSLI, longtime party secretary of the PSDI, at times Foreign Minister and later President of Italy

After a historic gathering on January 18, 1947 at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome , the reformist "right" wing around Giuseppe Saragat split from the Italian Socialist Party (then PSIUP, afterwards PSI), as it sought the support of PSI leader Pietro Nenni close cooperation with the communists refused. Saragat's wing then formed the Partito Socialista dei Lavoratori Italiani (PSLI). This cost the parent party half of its MPs.

At the end of May 1947, the Christian Democratic Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi , who had been offered generous aid by the US government, withdrew from his governing coalition with Socialists and Communists. Instead, he formed a new government based on the PSLI and the small liberal parties PLI and PRI , alongside his Democrazia Cristiana . From December 1947 the PSLI was also represented with ministerial posts at the cabinet table. For the parliamentary elections on April 18, 1948 , the PSLI united with other anti-communist PSI party splits to form the electoral alliance Unità Socialista , which opposed the Popular Front from the PSI and PCI and received 7.1% of the votes. Although the Christian Democrats won an outright majority in this highly polarized election, influenced by both the US and the Soviet Union, De Gasperi subsequently continued to involve the PSLI, PLI and PRI in his government as coalition partners .

Between 1948 and 1950, however, the new party was subjected to a series of internal rifts, which led to numerous party resignations and the formation of the rival Partito Socialista Unitario (PSU) under Giuseppe Romita in December 1949 . Due to the increasing loss of members (around 1950 the party had just under 50,000 members), the PSLI threatened to sink into insignificance. Their supporters were ridiculed as piselli (Eng.: "peas"), especially by the left-wing opponents who successfully reorganized themselves. Only the initiation of a process of unification of the PSLI and PSU secured the existence of the moderate Social Democrats: On May 1, 1951, the two parties joined together to form the Partito Socialista - Sezione Italiana dell'Internazionale Socialista (PS-SIIS), which was held at the VII Party Congress on January 7, 1952 the final designation Partito Socialista Democratico Italiano (PSDI) accepted and Saragat elected their party leader (Segretario) .

From the Piselli to the Pentapartito : The Role of the Party in the First Republic

The PSDI was one of the eight founding members of the Liaison Office of Socialist Parties in the European Community in June 1957 , which later became the Party of European Socialists (PES). For many years, the party was able to assert itself as the second strongest force in the coalition governments of the political center (DC, PSDI, PRI and PLI ) led by the Democrazia Cristiana . In particular, its leading figure, Giuseppe Saragat, who held the office of Deputy Prime Minister several times and was Italian President from 1964 to 1971, ensured the party's continued influence on Italian government policy - not least with the help of the social-democratic trade union UIL (Unione Italiana del Lavoro ) .

In the early 1960s, the PSDI played an important mediating role in bringing Christian Democrats and Socialists closer together, enabling the PSI to enter the centre-left government of Aldo Moro on December 4, 1963. It subsequently came on October 30 1966 for the reunification of the PSDI, which had improved its election result in 1963 from 4.5% to over 6%, with the socialist mother party to the Partito Socialista Unificato . However, since the merger did not pay off in the 1968 elections (15% compared to a combined 20-21% in 1963), the two parties parted ways again from July 5, 1969. After this separation, the party was temporarily called Partito Socialista Unitario , before resuming its previous name (PSDI) in February 1971. Former party secretary Mario Tanassi was defense minister from 1970 to 1974. In this role he was involved in the Italian Lockheed scandal and was sentenced to prison in 1979.

After the communists became the leading left-wing people's party (with over 30%) and Bettino Craxis was elected chairman of the socialists, the PSI once again approached the governing parties in the mid-1970s. A five-party coalition (the so-called Pentapartito ) was formed for the first time in June 1981 with the first government of Giovanni Spadolini , as a result of which the PSDI lost influence and importance in the course of seven governments of this constellation up to 1991. Pietro Longo , who led the party from 1978 to 1985, was a member of the secret organization Propaganda Due , revealed in 1981. According to the political scientist Helmut Drüke, the only thing that the PSDI had in common with the social democratic parties in Europe was the name; due to its almost permanent coalition with the Christian Democrats, he placed it more on the right side of the party spectrum.

The Decay 1989–1998

The first signs of dissolution appeared in 1989 in the formation of the party current Unità e Democrazia Socialista (“Socialist Unity and Democracy”) by Pietro Longo and Pier Luigi Romita . It was intended to prepare the party for joining a unitary party led by Craxi, which would be based on the social-democratic sister parties in Europe and also include the reformist groups of the communists who had turned into the PDS . However, this effort failed and ended when this trend emerged in the PSI in October 1989.

The party's decisive deathblow was the involvement of some of its top officials in the Tangentopoli bribery scandal of the early 1990s. In the early summer of 1992, both its former chairman, Pietro Longo, and the leading local Roman politician, Lamberto Mancini , were convicted by the police of accepting large bribes and arrested. This caused lasting damage to the PSDI: it was one of the first parties to lose voters, and as the entire party system was shaken by the scandal at the end of the First Republic , the party apparatus fell victim to an almost unmanageable process of disintegration. In the run-up to the parliamentary elections of 1994 - the beginning of the "Second Republic" - the various groupings of the party dispersed into all political camps: A large part of the PSDI, which was no longer a candidate as an independent list, joined the Craxi-affiliated Socialdemocracy with the penultimate party leader Enrico Ferri per le Libertà , which later (from 1995) merged into the right-wing camp around Silvio Berlusconi ; another part opted for the centrist option of the Patto per l'Italia around Giuliano Amato , including the last party leader Gian Franco Schietroma ; and the smallest part joined the left Alleanza dei Progressisti .

The PSDI was expelled from the Party of European Socialists in June 1994 because of its support for the centre-right Berlusconi government. In the 1994 European elections , the party was able to get just one representative, namely its chairman Enrico Ferri, into the European Parliament with 0.7% of the votes . He joined the Forza Europa faction , which was dominated by MEPs from Berlusconi's Forza Italia . When Ferri cooperated with the right-wing camp in the provincial elections in Massa-Carrara in December 1994, he triggered further upheavals within the PSDI and left the party with his supporters in January 1995, after being replaced by Gian Franco Schietroma. The groups that remained in the party continued to disintegrate in the last few years up to 1998: many joined Christian democratic currents, most of which merged into the party Democrazia è Libertà - La Margherita in 2002 (e.g. Franco Bruno, Italo Tanoni), while other Berlusconi's Forza Italia joined (including Nicola Cosentino , Paolo Russo, Simona Vicari) and a last core around Schietroma - together with three other social democratic splinter parties - formed the basis for the re-establishment of the Socialisti Democratici Italiani (SDI) on May 10, 1998.

The re-establishment in 2004

At the end of 2003, a group led by Giorgio Carta that split away from the SDI initiated the reestablishment of the PSDI under its historical name. She was at the XXV. Party Congress in Rome from 9.-11. January 2004, and Carta was elected party leader. The party was strongest in the southern Italian regions of Calabria and Basilicata , where it achieved its best results in the 2006 parliamentary elections (0.8% in Calabria). With 0.2% of the votes nationwide, however, Giorgio Carta only provided one representative in the Chamber of Deputies and no one in the Senate . In the governing alliance of Romano Prodi it had no significant importance.

After internal party disputes from November 2006 to June 2007, Mimmo Magistro was appointed the new chairman at the party congress in October 2007. A connection of the party to the Partito Socialista (PS), which has emerged since October 2007 as a merger of social liberal and social democratic parties in Italy, was considered, but found no majority among party supporters.

With regard to the 2008 parliamentary elections , the PSDI (like the PS) was unable to reach an agreement with the Partito Democratico on an electoral alliance and subsequently joined the founding initiative of the centrist coalition party Unione di Centro .

Party leader 1947–1998 / since 2004

web links


  1. ^ a b c Helmut Drüke: Italy. Politics - society - economy. Leske + Budrich, Leverkusen 1986, pp. 153–154.
  2. ^ a b Simon Hix: The Party of European Socialists. In: Robert Ladrech, Philippe Marlière: Social Democratic Parties in the European Union. History, Organization, Policies. Macmillan, Basingstoke (Hants) 1999, pp. 204–217, at p. 208.