Political Transition

  • Elizabeth Wiskemann


Meanwhile Einaudi’s term of office as President had expired in 1955 and the Senate and Chamber proceeded to elect his successor. The official candidate of the Christian democrat party was Cesare Merzagora, the President of the Senate. A series of intrigues succeeded, however, in bringing about the election of Giovanni Gronchi. Gronchi had represented his native Pisa in the Chamber before the Fascist era: he had been a member of the Popolari, the democratic Catholic party of Don Sturzo and De Gasperi, and he was prominent in the world of Catholic labour until the Fascist authorities put an end to such activities. The election of Gronchi was welcomed by many liberal-minded people as offering a chance of greater progress in Italian politics, for Gronchi was known to agree with Saragat in advocating some kind of ‘opening to the Left’. This phrase, which was to become exasperatingly familiar in the following years, indicated the idea of drawing the Christian Democrats, or at least those with more flexible notions, into co-operation not only with the tiny Republican Party and that of Saragat, but also with the general body of Socialists, the Partito Socialista Italiano or PSI.


Socialist Party Political Transition Christian Democrat Party Official Candidate John XXIII 


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  1. 1.
    Corrado Pallenberg, Vatican Finances (1971).Google Scholar

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© The Estate of Elizabeth Wiskemann 1971

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  • Elizabeth Wiskemann

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