chapter  10
7 Pages


Between June 1945 and June 1996 Italy has had 55 governments. Only three governments lasted more than two years. This constitutes one of the highest rates of government instability in Western Europe, higher than Belgium, or France under the Fourth Republic. Between each government there is a period of intense negotiations known as a government crisis. In the entire history of the Italian Republic there has never been a case of a government made up of a single party relying exclusively on its own votes in parliament. Continuity of government and political stability can also be calculated in terms of the continuity of government personnel. Non-communist Italian political parties repeatedly asserted either that the presence of communists in the government would be a threat to Italian democracy. Until the fall of the First Republic the only coalitions which were both technically and politically feasible were those of the centre-left and of national unity.