De Gasperi

 

 

ImageAlcide De Gasperi (1881-1954) was one of the founders of the Partito Popolare (People's Party) and became its Secretary in 1924 as a successor of Luigi Sturzo.

He was arrested by the fascist regime in 1926 ; released, he took refuge in the Vatican. In the 40's he was the protagonist of the re-organization of the presence of catholic in the Italian political life and of the creation of the Christian Democratic party (DC).

Was Prime Minister of the 1st and 2nd governments of the liberated Italy leading a coaliton with socialists and communists. In 1947 he formed a government supported by the DC and by some minor parties and won the elections of 1948 that gave the DC the absolute majority at the Chamber of Representatives.

He was Prime Minister till 1953, supported by a coalition that included 4 parties: the DC, the Social-Democratic Party (PSDI), the Liberal Parti (PLI), and the Republican Party (PRI).

He had to mediate (even inside the DC) between the more conservative attitudes and the forces that were giving more atention to social problems; in particular the group led by Giuseppe Dossetti (with Giorgio La Pira and Amintore Fanfani among the more representative personalities: the so-called group of the "Little Professors"). From 1948 to 1951 the influence of the Little Professors inside the DC was strong: Dossetti became Vice-secretary of the DC, Fanfani became Minister and La Pira Under-Secretary. But in 1951 they realized that it was impossible to change sigificantly De Gasperi's political line and left the government.

Despite of a modification of the electoral law, the coalition did not achieve the absolute majority in the elections of 1953. De Gasperi resigned and left the political activity.

Among the most significant actions of his political career, we may recall his struggle to pass the treaty by which Italy entered NATO and his action in favour of the European integration.