Fanfani’s first Centre-Left Government of 1962 promised considerable reforms as a quid pro quo for the extra-governmental support of the psi—nationalization of electricity (this was actually achieved, though in an utterly non-socialist fashion), regional autonomy, and agrarian reform. The present Moro-Nenni government came into being with more timorous objectives—a measure of (indicative) economic planning, moves to check property speculation, a drive against the Mafia, the repeal of the Fascist legal code. Regional autonomy and an agrarian reform were not specifically renounced, but were clearly postponed for the forseeable future. The formation of the new left socialist party, psiup, represented a rejection of this programme.
Recent developments have amply justified the decision to form the new party. The first government statement of aims on planning, made to the national planning commission in early May by the socialist finance
Regional autonomy and agrarian reform have been postponed indefinitely too. In the parliamentary commission on the regions, the psi has been voting against amendments proposed by the pci and psiup which it had itself helped to formulate. And it has entirely ceased to participate in the campaign of the left against the immensely powerful and corrupt Federconsorzi, (Federation of Agricultural Consortia) one of the main bastions of the dc.
In this context of full vindication of the decision to form the psiup, an important pointer towards the new party’s chances of becoming a significant political force was provided by recent elections for the newly constituted region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The psiup started in particularly unfavourable circumstances, since the entire local party apparatus had remained in the hands of the psi. Despite this, it captured twenty thousand votes in the region, one fifth of the previous socialist vote, a considerable achievement after only four months existence, and disproves Nenini’s early attempt to dismiss the split as one by party cadres. If the psiup can achieve this degree of mass support in an area where it, in fact, has no cadres, it will be interesting to see what it can do in the many areas where large sections and often majorities of the cadres of the old party have joined the new.