Under a Multinational Mantle: Italy’s Participation in the G7 (1975–76)
- 236 Downloads
This chapter retraces how the turning-point which led to Italy’s participation in the group of the most highly industrialised Western countries was reached, the resistance which had to be overcome, and the motivations which guided the choices of the parties involved. On the basis of extensive archival research, this chapter focuses on diplomatic action by the Italian government and its efforts to avoid being cut off from the exclusive ‘club’ of the major Western powers. However, behind Italy’s interest in being accepted as a member of the G6 at Rambouillet, were mixed political and economic motivations—the latter being just as important as the former. Considerable efforts were made by the Italian government to persuade the allies of the potentially detrimental consequences of excluding Italy and of the importance of internationally strengthening the legitimacy of the government led by President Moro. The political motivations which played to the advantage of Italy’s inclusion in the G6/G7 at Puerto Rico transformed Italy into the subject matter of the meeting among Western leaders. The chapter shows how Italian participation in G7 summits proved to be the ‘external constraint’ needed to implement unwelcome but essential political and economic policies. Nonetheless, the Italian government did obtain a significant result: a legitimate place at the table of the major Western powers, where crucial economic issues of concern to Italy were discussed.