The Republic (Part II)


Italians now use over 10 million cars


The Fiat 600, Italy's first mass produced car, replaced the bicycle, the common means of transportation in the late 1940s

European survey reveals 72% of Italians are unsatisfied with their democracy


terrorism in the North and organized crime in the South were among the causes in this lack of confidence

Red Brigades founded


Left-wing terrorism replaced right-wing terrorism; sought to create a revolution through armed struggle

Church attendance has declined steadily


only 35% of Italians attend church regularly as opposed to almost 70% in 1956

OPEC raises oil prices by 70%


devastating consequences: prices soar, and industrialists can no longer afford higher costs with lower wages; government devalues the lira, raising domestic prices; Italy trapped in inflation throughout the 1970s

Historic Compromise between PCI, PSI, and DC


Enrico Berlinguer unites the three main parities under communism

Neo-fascist Rosa dei Venti attempt to prepare a coup d'etat


this company had been carrying out acts of terrorism in preparation, and members of the secret service and armed forces were implicated

Revealed that Christian Democrats had been paid off by oil comapnies


the payment in exchange for political favors was among the first of several political scandals of the 1970s

92% of Italians own televisions


in 1965, the figure was less than 50%

2 Government ministers take bribes from American company Lockheed


Social Democrat, Mario Tanassi, goes to prison

Over 100 separate left-wing terrorist groups operate in Italy


Murder of Aldo Moro


Red Brigades kidnap, imprison, and kill the President of the Christian Democrats and dominant political figure of the period; high-water mark of Italian terrorism

Sandro Pertini is President of the Republic

1978 - 1985

best loved politician since Mussolini; injected a badly needed moral authority into government institutions

Neo-fascists bomb Bologna station


killed 85 people, but was the last major act of serious violence; unable to sustain itself on a serious level beyond the mid-1970s

Assasination of Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa


The head of the Carabinieri was killed by the mafia in Palermo, spurring a vigorous conviction of mafiosi

Italian recession comes to an end


period of rapid growth ensues

Francesco Cossiga becomes President of the Republic


First maxi trial of members of Cosa Nostra

1986 - 1987

criminal trial against the Sicilian Mafia in Palermo; held in a bunker-courthouse specially constructed for this purpose inside the walls of the Ucciardone prison; most were convicted due to the confessions of boss Tommaso Buscetta

Collapse of communism in Eastern Europe

1989 - 1991

the end of the Soviet Union removed a key stabilizing element in the Italian political system

Revealed that President Cossiga involved in right wing terrorism in the 50s


Italian Communist Party comes to an end


replaced by the Democratic Party of the Left

1992 Elections


Christian Democrats drop below 30% for the first time in the Republic

Judge Giovanni Falcone blown up in a massive bomb


result of resurgence in mafia activity in the South

Elections of 1992


nearly 9% of the electorate votes for the Northern League

Bettino Craxi resigns


result of a major scandal involving kickbacks in the Milan city council involving leading Socialists, including Craxi

Scandal of tangentopoli


a thousand businessmen, mostly Socialists and Christian democrats come under enquiry and and are imprisoned

1994 Elections


Forza Italia, a party founded two months beforehand, is most successful; like the Northern League in that it combined old and new elements of patriotism; based on solidarity of football; founder Silvio Berlusconi becomes prime minister at the head of a right wing coalition with the Northern League

Lamberto Dini elected prime minister


succeeded in pushing through unpopular but needed financial decisions, including bringing down the cost of state pensions; also pressed ahead against organized crime in the south; restored Italy's credibility internationally

Berlusconi resigns


disenchantment with his government leads to protesting his proposals to cut spending on pensions and health; Berlusconi is forced to resign after investigation for false accounting in business dealings

1996 Elections


victory goes to a left-of-center coalition known as the Ulivo, won over 20% of the vote; comprised of several parties, the largest being the Democratic Party of the Left

Italy formally accepted for entry into the single currency


Massimo D'Alema elected


replaces Romano Prodi

Giuliano Amata elected


Giorgio Napolitano

2006 - Present