Partito dei Comunisti Italiani

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Partito dei Comunisti Italiani
Party logo
Party executive Cesare Procaccini (Segretario)
Antonino Cuffaro (Presidente)
founding October 11, 1998 (emerged from: Partito della Rifondazione Comunista )
renaming June 26, 2016 (renamed: Partito Comunista Italiano )
ideology Communism , Eurocommunism
International connections International meeting of communist and workers' parties
European party European left
Headquarters ItalyItaly Rome ,
32 Piazza Augusto Imperatore
Party newspaper La Rinascita della Sinistra

The Party of Italian Communists ( Italian Partito dei Comunisti Italiani , PdCI) was an Italian left-wing party with a communist orientation. After the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista , from which it split off, it was the second communist party in Italy . It was founded at the end of 1998 by Armando Cossutta . On December 23, 2014, the Central Committee decided to dissolve the party and to re-establish the Partito Comunista d'Italia , which is to tie in with both the PdCI and the historic PCI.

In the party of the European Left , the PdCI had observer status.

On May 27, 2016, the long-awaited Constituent Assembly for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Italy (PCI) took place in Rome, which was re- established according to the unity of all left forces. Previous problems due to the legal use of the old name PCI, which was still associated with the largest "successor party" of the old PCI, the Partito Democratico , came to an end. Among those present were not only members of the previous PdCI, but also members of the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (PRC), the Rete dei Comunisti , the Sinistra Roma by Stefano Fassina and representatives of L'Altra Europa con Tsipras , who first sent their greetings and will be discussed in their own party congresses about a transfer to the newly founded PCI. The historical name (PCI) as well as the original symbolism (flags etc.) are used again in full.


In the former Communist Party of Italy (PCI), Armando Cossutta , who had close contacts with the leadership of the CPSU , was at the head of the traditional wing that was “loyal to Moscow”. From the mid-1970s onwards, Cossutta opposed the eurocommunist course of the then PCI General Secretary Enrico Berlinguer , mainly because he considered the growing criticism of the Soviet Union to be wrong and harmful. In 1990/91, Cossutta's current opposed the party majority-led transformation of the PCI into the new social democratic party Partito Democratico della Sinistra (PDS) and finally founded the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (PRC), chaired by Cossutta, together with other leftists . In 1997/98, however, Cossutta came into conflict with Fausto Bertinotti , who was the national secretary next to him at the head of the PRC , who found a continuation of the parliamentary tolerance of the center-left government under Romano Prodi to be intolerable because of its neoliberal tendency, while Cossutta found that Nevertheless, the alliance of the L'Ulivo coalition was considered to be the lesser evil that needed further support. In doing so, Cossutta found the support of most of the PRC parliamentarians, but was only able to get a part of his historical following on his side on the grassroots and in the apparatus. After his loss in the vote in the National Political Committee of the PRC in November 1998, he left the party and founded the PdCI, which is estimated to be a good 20,000 PRC members (about a fifth). The PdCI and its MPs directly joined the L'Ulivo government.

Political activity

The PdCI at the Europe-wide protest rally against the EU Services Directive in Brussels in 2005

Until 2001, the PdCI ruled with the Ulivo. Afterwards the alliance stood in opposition to the government of Silvio Berlusconi . On April 3 and 4, 2005, the alliance successfully participated in the regional elections in 13 Italian regions with normal statutes for the first time in an expanded form (including the PRC) as L'Unione . The same alliance, with top candidate Romano Prodi, also ran against Berlusconi in the 2006 parliamentary elections, which it successfully won.

Since the merger of the former Democratici di Sinistra (Left Democrats) with La Margherita - Democrazia è Libertà (the Christian Democrats of the center-left alliance L'Unione ) as well as some small parties of the political center to the Partito Democratico (PD) in October 2007 resulted for the Groupings on the left edge of the Italian party spectrum highlight the need for reorganization. At a first national congress in Rome on December 8th and 9th, 2007, the first agreements between the four parties (PRC, SD, PdCI and Verdi) were reached and a plan for further cooperation under the alliance name La Sinistra - L'Arcobaleno (Eng .: Die Linke - The Rainbow ) created.

With the resignation of Romano Prodi as Prime Minister and the dissolution of Parliament on February 6, 2008, L'Unione has effectively dissolved. In the early parliamentary elections on April 13 and 14, 2008, Romano Prodi no longer stood as a candidate, and the center-left parties no longer ran together. The new Partito Democratico ran under the top candidate Walter Veltroni without an alliance partner. The PdCI entered with an alliance list under the name La Sinistra - L'Arcobaleno . To which besides the PdCI the PRC, Federazione dei Verdi (Greens) and the Sinistra Democratica belong. With only 3.1% in the House of Representatives elections and 3.2% in the Senate elections, the alliance recorded landslide-like losses on April 14, 2008 and failed to make it into both chambers because of the threshold clauses (4 and 8%).

In the 2009 European elections, the PdCI joined the PRC and Socialismo 2000 as Lista Anticapitalista. This also missed the 4% threshold.

Current profile

The PdCI sees itself as the “true” heir to the tradition of the PCI of Antonio Gramsci , Palmiro Togliatti and Enrico Berlinguer - although Cossutta was in conflict with the latter in the 1970s, he now admits that Berlinguer was right. In the words of Togliatti, who carried out the integration of the PCI into parliamentary democracy in the post-war period , Cossutta described the PdCI as a "party that not only criticizes but makes politics". It sticks to socialism as a future perspective, but in daily political practice it relied on extremely moderate realpolitik , with which it joined the social democratic tendency in the Ulivo (i.e. the left-wing democrats that emerged from the earlier PCI).

The election results of the PdCI were mostly below two percent in the last few years ( somewhat higher in the old industrial regions of northern Italy ). Its supporters consist largely of the working class, those parts of the traditional PCI milieu who tend to distrust the new, alternative political concepts of the Rifondazione and the intellectual discourses of Fausto Bertinotti.

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