From Interdependence to Unilateralism: Italy and the Evolution of Foreign Monetary Cooperation (1958–1973)
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After the autarchic experience of the Fascist regime, international economic interdependence represented a fundamental change for Italy. This chapter examines the origins and evolution of this new collaborative approach pursued by Italy in the international monetary field, despite the transition to the adverse global scenario which took place in the late 1960s. This negative change was embodied by US President Nixon’s decision to close the gold ‘window’ and thus refusing to match domestic economic policy and international monetary stability within a cooperative framework. Against this background, the Italian government strove to preserve monetary and financial interconnections among Western countries in a new era characterised by political instability, rocketing oil prices and inflation. Despite all efforts, at the beginning of the 1970s, this collaborative posture was definitely swept aside by a profound economic and political crisis which drastically reduced Italy’s diplomatic role.