Partito della Rifondazione Comunista

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Partito della Rifondazione Comunista
Party logo
Party executive Maurizio Acerbo (secretary)
founding December 12, 1991 (emerged from: Partito Comunista Italiano )
coalition Alleanza dei Progressisti
( 1994 - 1995 )
L'Ulivo (external toleration)
( 1996 - 1998 )
( 2005 - 2008 )
La Sinistra - L'Arcobaleno
( 2008 )
Federazione della Sinistra
( 2009 - 2012 )
Rivoluzione Civile
( 2013 )
L'Altra Europa con Tsipras ( 2014 )
La Sinistra ( 2019 )
ideology Communist
International connections International meeting of communist and workers' parties
European party European left
Headquarters ItalyItaly Rome ,
Via del Policlinico 131
Party newspaper Liberazione

The Party of the Communist Restoration ( Italian Partito della Rifondazione Comunista , PRC ) is an Italian communist party .

It emerged in 1991 from a split in the Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI). While the social democratic wing founded the Left Democratic Party (PDS), which later became the Partito Democratico (PD), the communist wing formed into the PRC. When the majority of the PRC left the center-left government in 1998, a smaller part split off again and formed the Partito dei Comunisti Italiani (PdCI). The chairman of the PRC was Fausto Bertinotti from 1994 to 2006 . After Bertinotti's election as President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies , Franco Giordano succeeded him in May 2006 and remained in office until March 2008 when he resigned after the PRC's defeat in the parliamentary elections (see below). The party's segretario has been Paolo Ferrero since 2008 .

The PRC has been heavily involved in the new social movements in recent years . She was represented by five MEPs in the European Parliament and there was a member of the Confederal Group of the European United Left (GUE / NGL). She is also a member of the party of the European Left .


Foundation of the PRC

The party chairman of the PRC Fausto Bertinotti (2007)

In response to the collapse of the socialist states of Europe , the PCI initiated the discussion in 1990 about the transformation into a social democratically oriented reform party with a new name and program. On the other hand, the Movimento per la rifondazione comunista (movement for the communist re-establishment) formed out of currents that rejected this reorientation . The opposition to social democratization came from several minority movements in the PCI: On the one hand, there were the “traditionalists” around Armando Cossutta , who were closely connected with the Soviet Union and wanted to keep the PCI in its old form. On the other hand, they were opposed to groups that were shaped by the political culture of the undogmatic “ New Left ”, had always taken a critical relationship to “real socialism” and emphasized the need for a fundamentally renewed communist program. The small, alternative left-wing radical party Democrazia Proletaria (DP), which combined Marxist, ecological and feminist positions, also took part in the discussion process .

The internal opposition responded to the final transformation of the PCI into the Democratici di Sinistra (PDS) party by founding the PRC. It recorded a surprisingly large influx of almost 100,000 members. The DP joined the PRC. Armando Cossutta was now chairman of the PRC, and as National Secretary ( Segretario Nazionale ) he was initially supported by the socialist Sergio Garavini , who was replaced by Fausto Bertinotti in early 1994 . Bertinotti's political career began in the 1960s in the small Partito Socialista Italiano di Unità Proletaria (PSIUP), with the majority of which he converted to the PCI in 1972. Bertinotti had not made a party career in the Communist Party, however: until 1990 he held leadership positions in the PCI-affiliated trade union confederation Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL). After the dissolution of the PCI there was an upheaval in the entire corruption- eaten Italian party system , from which the new right-wing bloc led by Silvio Berlusconi initially benefited. The PDS was initially able to maintain the membership structure of the PCI and initially remained the largest left party in Italy. The majority, however, remained unstable.

First government participation

In 1996 the non-party ex-Christian Democrat Romano Prodi succeeded in forming the center-left alliance L'Ulivo (the olive tree), which won a government majority in the following election. However, this only happened with the votes of the deputies of the PRC, which had received 8% of all votes in the parliamentary election. The PRC decided to approve the Prodi government without joining it. The increasingly neo - liberal deregulation and austerity policies of the Ulivo coalition at the expense of the lower social classes met with growing rejection in the PRC from 1997 onwards. In November 1998, the majority of the National Political Committee of the PRC approved Bertinotti's call to end toleration. However, this led to a falling out with Cossutta, who, referring to the threat of Berlusconi's return to power, pleaded for further support for the center-left as a lesser evil. Having become a minority, Cossutta left the PRC and founded the Party of Italian Communists . Cossutta had only been able to bring some of his traditional supporters behind him, but the majority of the PRC MPs converted to the PdCI, which joined the Ulivo government so that it could continue its work.

The parliamentary elections in spring 2001 again led to a right-wing government under Berlusconi. The PRC succeeded in re-entering the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate with around 5% of the vote. In the meantime, strong movements against neoliberalism and globalization had also formed in Italy . "Social centers" (Centri sociali) had sprung up across the country . The PRC actively supported these movements without claiming supremacy in them. This cooperative behavior earned her strong sympathy. The mass protests of the opponents of globalization against the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001 became a signal of departure for the PRC. A combative attitude also spread in the unions . Some well-known globalization critics moved into parliament, the mother of the dead Carlo Giuliani , Haidi Giuliani , moved into the Italian Senate.

New party line

At its Fifth Party Congress in April 2002, the PRC carried out a profound renewal of its program and its self-image, based on the experience of the past few years. It no longer sees representation and proxy politics in state institutions as a central field of action, but primarily refers to the “movement of movements” against capitalist globalization. The PRC would like to contribute to the formation of a "new labor movement " by bringing together the union and anti-globalization movement . It sticks to the central importance of the conflict between capital and labor. Their goal remains the overcoming of capitalist society and liberation from wage labor . However, it has broken away from the idea that this overcoming should be brought about on behalf of the masses by conquering state power by an “ avant-garde ”. The PRC has rejected state socialism and hierarchical-bureaucratic political concepts. The PRC regards it as its task to promote the development of elements of a social alternative in a pluralistic movement, including all emancipatory endeavors ( feminism , anti-racism , ecology ). It sees the struggle against neoliberalism and war as an essential basis on which broad alliances are to be striven for.

60% of the delegates at the Fifth Congress voted for this new line. 27% were in favor of the "Ernesto current" (named after the theory magazine l'Ernesto ), which was more concerned with continuity with the PCI of the 1950s and 1960s, consisting mainly of former Cossutta supporters, and distrusted movement orientation and the primacy of traditional institutional ones Holds on to political models. This current was unable to push through its amendments to some of the innovative theses of the Bertinotti majority, which more strongly reflected the views of “orthodox” communist parties on the issues of globalization and imperialism , the labor movement, party form and the history of socialism, but supported Bertinotti's re-election as National Secretary of the PRC. A minority oriented towards the doctrinal positions of Trotskyism made up 13% .

At the “realpolitical” level, however, it became apparent that the movements supported by the PRC in Italy, despite their breadth and strength, could do little against the policies of the Berlusconi government. Despite the tremendous mobilization of the peace movement , Italy's participation in the Iraq war could not be prevented. In June 2003, the attempt by the PRC, a failed referendum a dismissal enforce for all salaried employees. In the regional elections shortly before, the left was able to gain votes, especially where the PRC ran on joint lists with the DS, which emerged from the former PCI majority. The DS and the Greens made calls for a more socially oriented policy. The PRC hopes to be able to enforce at least a minimum of the demands of the trade unions and social movements at the institutional level by participating in a new center-left government. This line is jointly represented by Bertinotti's majority stream and the PCI traditionalists of the “Ernesto Group”. Critical voices from the PRC and the social movements point out, however, that a really consistent policy change towards the moderate left will hardly be enforceable under the given conditions and that the compromises that the PRC will have to make can lead to its discrediting, as it can be has shown at the government participation of other communist parties in France and at regional level in Germany.

Second government participation

RC rally on October 20, 2007 in front of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (1 million participants)

Since the beginning of 2005, the PRC has entered into a new electoral alliance with the center-left coalition of the olive tree under the name L'Unione , which as such ran for the first time in the regional elections on April 3 and 4, 2005 and the center-right -Alliance around Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi brought a considerable election failure. In the southern Italian region of Apulia , for the first time a candidate nominated by the PRC has won for the post of regional president.

After the parliamentary elections in 2006 , a transgender entered the Roman parliament for the first time in Italian history : Vladimir Luxuria, alias Wladimiro Guadagno, who ran as the top candidate for the PRC.

Since the merger of the former Democratici di Sinistra (left-wing democrats) with Democrazia è Libertà - La Margherita (the Christian Democrats of the center-left alliance L'Unione ) and some small parties of the political center to form the Partito Democratico (PD) in October 2007, 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.

General election 2008

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 PRC entered with an alliance list under the name La Sinistra - L'Arcobaleno . To which, in addition to the PRC, the PdCI, Federazione dei Verdi (Greens) and the Sinistra Democratica (SD) 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%). As a result, Fausto Bertinotti , who had run as the alliance's top candidate, announced his complete retirement from politics.

Current profile

In recent years the PRC has developed the profile of a new type of communist party that differs from the traditional (Marxist-Leninist) communist parties as well as from the social democracy. It claims to free the basic demands of communism from the entanglements of the 20th century and to redefine them for the 21st century. It does this by referring to the social structural change of the present, which on the one hand goes hand in hand with the growing importance of the production of knowledge (the general intellect , of which Karl Marx spoke in his manuscript Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy ), and on the other hand work increasingly fragmented and precarious .

The party gets particularly good results in elections in Bologna and Tuscany , which can be described as affluent regions with a high proportion of academics. In contrast to the PCI, the PRC has no close ties to the daily newspaper L'Unità and the oldest Italian trade union federation, CGIL .

Web links

Commons : Partito della Rifondazione Comunista  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Italy's left is completely haphazard Jungle World from July 14, 2011