Italy Between 1992 and 1999

Great significance has the strong success reported in Italy Northern League in the 1992 elections by the Northern League of U. Bossi (born in 1991 from the aggregation of local autonomist movements), which launched a federalist reform of the state. The electoral consultations also see the formation of a cross-party ‘referendum pact’, in which the Christian Democrat M. Segni stands out, aiming at a reform of the electoral system in a majority sense. On April 28, President Cossiga, a supporter of institutional reforms in the presidential sense that created embarrassment in the DC and induced the PDS to ask for its impeachment, resigns. Elected with the help of the PDS, in a climate made incandescent by the assassination of judge G. Falcone in Palermo by the mafia, he is succeeded by the independent Christian Democrat OL Scalfaro.

According to, a new government led by the socialist G. Amato faces the economic situation and the enormous public debt; the Maastricht Treaty aimed at accelerating European unity is ratified. A cyclone hits the government parties, thanks to the judiciary which brings out the system of illegal party financing and public corruption, for which the term ‘tangentopoli’ is coined. The country has reached a structural crisis of the political system and, starting from 1992, the political formations belonging to the so-called five-party (DC, PSI, PSDI, PRI and PLI) have experienced a growing internal disintegration. The 1993 referendum result for the introduction of the majority electoral system is an expression of the will of civil society to achieve incisive institutional reforms. which gets a very high percentage of consents. The day after the vote, the Amato government announces its resignation. The governor of the Bank of Italy CA Ciampi constitutes a transitional executive aimed at financial recovery and the launch of a new electoral law that respects the popular indication in favor of the single-member majority system, but which also accepts the indications of the parties for a proportional share.

A series of substantial changes are taking place in the party system, also in view of the new electoral system. The Italian Social Movement receives significant consensus from the moderate electorate and on the thrust of this growth the new MSI-National Alliance (AN) is born, aimed at overcoming the fascist legacy towards a liberal-conservative landing. In 1994, the DC gives life to the Italian Popular Party (PPI), while a more moderate wing constitutes the Centro Cristiano Democratico (CCD). The most important novelty is the constitution of Forza Italia (FI), a movement founded by the entrepreneur S. Berlusconi, which, with the aim of stemming the announced success of the left, manages to promote a process of aggregation of the center-right forces. The elections of March 1994 decreed the success of the forces led by Berlusconi. The reasons for this victory lie in the ability to conquer an ‘orphan’ electorate of the traditional governing parties, through the promise of a new economic miracle and an appeal, marked by anti-communist tones, to the principles of liberalism and liberal democracy. The Berlusconi government is troubled by the difficulty of translating the electoral agreements between the parties promoted by Forza Italia into a homogeneous program. Political tensions are also growing due to the issue of the conflict of interest affecting Berlusconi, head of a large economic group and owner of half of the national television system. The government falls in December and L. Dini, minister of the head of a large economic group and owner of half of the national television system. The government falls in December and L. Dini, minister of the head of a large economic group and owner of half of the national television system. The government falls in December and L. Dini, minister of theTreasury in the previous cabinet, form an executive of technicians supported by the center-left. In 1995, in Fiuggi, the last congress of the MSI led by G. Fini sanctions the transformation of AN into a real party.

In February 1995, R. Prodi, economist and former president of IRI, is a candidate, in a bipolar perspective, as leader of a new center-left alliance, the Ulivo. The 1996 elections saw the winner of the Ulivo coalition formed by PPI (deprived of the wing headed by R. Buttiglione, supporter of an alliance with the center-right), PDS, Federation of the Greens and other minor forces. Prodi’s government sets up a structural reform policy that allows Italy to fall within the economic parameters set in Maastricht for joining the single currency (2000).

The conflict on social and foreign policy issues with the Communist Refoundation, with which the Ulivo signed an electoral agreement and whose votes are decisive for the majority in the center-left Chamber, precipitates in the autumn of 1998 with the withdrawal of confidence in the executive by the Communist PRC. Prodi resigns and M. D’Alema, leader since 1998 of a new political entity, the Left Democrats (DS) including, in addition to the PDS, exponents of the socialist, republican, Christian-social and environmentalist areas, forms a new executive.

In May 1999 CA Ciampi was elected president of the Republic, in a climate of dialogue between the two political camps matured in the context of the Kosovo crisis, which sees the Italy participate in the NATO air intervention against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In December 1999 D’Alema, heir to a tradition in which the entire alliance is not recognized and exponent of a strong party but in electoral and proactive difficulties, resigns, regaining his post for a new government.

Italy Between 1992 and 1999