Italy. The year was marked by the government's dependence
on the Communist Party RC (Rifondazione Comunista) and the
struggle for membership in the EU's currency union EMU.
Prime Minister Romano Prodi invested his entire prestige on
an EMU membership as early as 1999 and warned that the
country's credibility would otherwise be in jeopardy.
government hoped, with the help of a one-off tax, to reduce
the budget deficit to the required 3% of GDP.
The proposal was criticized by other EU countries for not
addressing Italy's structural budget problems in the long term.
In April, the European Commission predicted that Italy would
not meet the requirements for EMU entry in the first round,
and the western industrialized countries' OECD cooperative
organization urged Italy to continue tough budgetary
However, the supplementary budget for 1997, which the
government was having difficulty with, was heavily dependent
on tax increases as RC opposed the reduction of pensions and
other social spending.
In May, the government presented a three-year plan for
EMU qualification. The plan assumed GDP growth of between 2
and 2.7% per year until 2000, and the government expected to
reduce the budget deficit by SEK 110 billion. in 1998 to
meet EMU requirements. The 1998 budget agreed by the
government in September provided that only a third of that
sum would be covered by reduced pensions and social benefits
and the rest would be cleared through increased taxes.
RC, however, said no, and the government announced its
departure. After almost a week, the crisis was resolved
after the government promised to introduce 35 hours of work
week by 2001 and retain pension benefits.
The Prodi government had been close to falling as early
as April, due to RC's opposition to Italian participation in
a peace force in Albania. RC, however, supported the
government in a vote of confidence that Prodi announced.
RC's opposition to social cuts paid off in the municipal
and mayoral elections in April. RC was the party that grew
the most, while the Northern League (Lega Nord) declined
However, the ruling Olive Tree Alliance, L'Ulivo, stepped
up from a new round of local elections in November, when the
center-right coalition The Freedom Alliance became the big
loser. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced
in December to 16 months in prison for accounting
violations. However, according to Italian practice, he does
not have to sit the sentence.
From council movement to fascism
Italian socialism was composed of many different
elements. From the outset, PSI kept the anarchists and
syndicalists outside. Later, the conflict between the
"reformists" and the "maximalists", respectively the right
and left, came to dominate and paralyze the party. In 1919,
there was extensive social uprising in the peasant and
working population, but the internal contradictions in the
PSI prevented the party from taking a leading role in these
In Turin - "Italy's Petrograd" - an active council
movement inspired by the October Revolution and the
Comintern developed. The magazine "Ordine Nuovo" was founded
on May 1, 1919 by a group of intellectuals - all later
leaders of the Communist Party PCI (Gramsci, Togliatti,
Tasca, Terracini). The "Ordinovists", as they were called,
were closely associated with workers at the Turin factories.
Through the Council movement, they raised the issue of labor
control over the means of production and were preoccupied
with the problem of the political takeover. The
"Ordinovists" were supported by the Comintern, but were
isolated in the PSI, and the council movement did not
Following the lockout in the metallurgical industry in
the fall of 1920, more than ˝ million workers began factory
occupations. Although this excited and frightened large
parts of the bourgeoisie, the experienced Prime Minister
Giolitti failed to intervene directly. His tactics soon
revealed that the workers were left without any offensive
strategy and the factory occupations had negative
The reactionary counter-offensive became increasingly
evident. The majority of the PSI - the centrists - therefore
chose to take a stand with the Left at the Congress in 1921.
The Communist faction led by anti-parliamentarian Amadeo
Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci formed the Communist Party PCI.
The following year, the PSI centrists also broke with the
right wing. "The father of Italian socialism," Turati, was
excluded. Together with Matteotti, he formed a Social
The labor movement was now deeply divided. Liberal
politicians chose to ally themselves with the fascists in
the fight against socialists and Catholics. After several
government crises and the fascist march against Rome,
Vittorio Emanuele III transferred the government power to
Mussolini. A "electoral reform" secured the Fascist Party
majority, which was sharply criticized by PSI leader Giácomo
Matteotti. The followers of Il Duce- Mussolini -
replied in 1924 to kill him. The road was open to
Mussolini's complete takeover of political power. Italy's
weak parliamentary traditions helped the fascists meet so
little resistance in the early years. Only with the
assassination of Matteotti in 1924 did the opposition wake
up, but then it was too late. All opposition parties were
banned and several leading politicians had to flee the
country. Only the PCI was committed to maintaining a secret
organization in Italy. Many communists were arrested -
a.k.a. Gramsci, who sat in prison from 1926 until he died in
1937. Togliatti was in Moscow and sat on the Komintern
Executive Committee. After Gramsci's death, he assumed the
post of PCI Secretary General.
A new constitution introduced press censorship and in
1929 Letrán signed the pact with the Vatican. It reinstated
the powers of the popes and provided the government support
among the Catholics of the country. Despite serious
interference with democratic rights, fascists nevertheless
ruled with support from large sections of the population.
But gradually the social, political and economic weaknesses
of the regime became too obvious. With the colonial war
against Ethiopia in 1936, the climax was reached. The
Italians openly sabotaged the race laws against the Jews,
introduced in 1938 following the alliance with Hitler
Germany. The regime lost sympathy, but open anti-fascist
resistance was not yet possible.
Rome - history
According to tradition, Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus on April 21,
753 BC, but judging from archaeological research, the city's history dates back
to 900 BC. Rome was strategically well located approx. 20 km up the Tiber at a
ford. The place was also surrounded by hills, where you could live sheltered,
while rising above the swampy valleys by the river.
The settlements probably first appeared on the Aventine and Palatine
Hills; these have not differed from other small towns in the rest
of Lazio. During 600-tfKr. the valley area was also inhabited. In the period
until approx. 509 BC the city was ruled by kings, the last three have
undoubtedly been of Etruscan origin. Thereafter, the Republican period began.
The city of Rome gradually expanded its territory and won a decisive victory
in 396 BC. over the Etruscan city of Veji, and soon Rome was the largest city
on the Italian Peninsula. The strength of the city, however, was no greater than
that of the Gauls in 390 BC. could occupy the city except the Capitol and had to
be bought away. 300-tfKr. was marked by battles
between patricians and plebeians, which ended in equality between the two
As a result of crises in agriculture in 200-tkKr. impoverished peasants
sought refuge in Rome in the hope of finding work, and serious social and
economic problems arose with e.g. to house and support the newcomers.
Only under Emperor Augustus did Rome become a real capital of an empire,
and Augustus, who saw himself as a new Romulus, contributed his own funds to a
monumental expansion of the city.
Large-scale construction work meant, among other things, that many of the
city's unemployed found employment. Most recently in August, the notion of Rome
as the caput orbis 'head of the world' arose, and the term "the
eternal city" was included in imperial ideology.
From the end of the 1st century to the beginning of the 2nd century AD. Rome
was at the height of its power and influence; It is estimated that the
population is set at approx. 1 mio.
At the end of the century the population decreased, and during the
200-t. Rome lost some of its significance; often the emperor did not even stay
in the city.
In 330, Constantine I made Great Constantinople the new capital in line with
Rome, resulting in Rome losing some of its political and economic importance,
and urban development stagnated. This development was further strengthened when
Ravenna became the new imperial residence after the division of the Roman Empire
In 410 the Visigoths conquered and ravaged Rome, and in 455
the vandals plundered the city. It is estimated that the population at that time
had fallen to approx. 250,000. Imperial Rome could no longer enjoy its formerly
so glorious prestige and instead acquired a museum-like character; Among other
things, the city's numerous temples and altars stood unused from the 350's, as
the practice of pagan cults was banned. Rome was now most reminiscent of an
Christianity soon came to Rome, presumably through missionaries
from Antioch, and a congregation already existed when Paul in ca. 54 wrote
Romans; shortly after, Paul visited the city.
The Roman congregation soon gained a significant size, and it became one of
the leading congregations within the church, which was conditioned partly by its
location in the center of the Roman Empire, partly by the prestige it gave that
both Paul and Peter according to tradition suffered martyrdom here (see pope).
Constantine's favoring of Christianity resulted in that large churches were
built in Rome, and soon the city was given the position of housing the mother
church and of being the center of the Christian church. Regarding the history of
the city in antiquity, see also the Roman Empire (history).
The Middle Ages
Despite the decline, Rome still seems to have been a major city in the time
of Pope Gregory I (590-604). Formally, it heard from the mid-500's, under the
Byzantine exarchate of Ravenna, until the Frankish kings Pippin III and
Charlemagne created the Church State in the 700's; from that time also derives
Cittŕ Leonina, the district around St. Peter's Basilica. Rome, however, was
increasingly dominated by powerful land-owning noble families from Lazio, and in
addition came the German-Roman imperial power, which eventually controlled popes
and bishops in Italy. It was not until the latter half of the 1000's that the
popes, especially Gregory VII (1073-85), with their demands for the absolute
independence of the church from secular power, again placed Rome on the
political and ecclesiastical map of Europe. The investment dispute made the pope
and Rome an alternative to the secular empire. The high-medieval papal Rome with
the universal demand for power experienced a peak under Pope Innocent III
(1198-1216), and the city's ever-increasing administration attracted much
expertise; however, the noble families continued to play a major role, and the
pope had to relocate several times to safer possessions outside the city.
The powerful Boniface VIII (1294-1303) stretched the bow to the extreme by
his proclamation of papal world domination, and this led the French king to
intervene and move the pope and curia to Avignon. In the papal era, the ancient
Roman city government woke up and claimed power in the city with reference to
ancient Rome. In 1347, the Roman leader Cola di Rienzo seized power in a coup
and declared the Roman Republic restored. That same year, however, he was
expelled by the noble families, and when he returned in 1354, he was killed by
At the same time, with the Black Death of 1347, a new period of crisis
began. The restoration in 1377 of the papacy in Rome only exacerbated the
crisis, with Avignon retaining his pope (see Great Schism). Thus, the Roman
papacy suffered a severe loss of prestige, which was exacerbated by attack
from the Kingdom of Naples. In the early 1400's. The secular princes of Europe
intervened and in 1417 had one new pope elected, Martin V, from the Roman noble
Martin V held his entrance into the holy city in 1420; thus began a new era
in the history of Rome, and the heavily decayed and ruined city again became the
center of Christian Europe. At the same time, the position of the popes in the
Church State became stronger, and due to the state's character of electoral
monarchy, nepotism became more and more widespread, in the pope's allotment
of episcopal sees and in the filling of positions at the curia. In addition to
the papal court, a number of cardinal courts emerged; the cardinals
'construction of palaces etc. contributed to the city's economic recovery in the
decades around 1500. In addition, the popes' official buildings, primarily St.
Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Palace. In the early 1500-t. Rome had become an
artistic and cultural center of Europe (the Roman High Renaissance).
However, the secular great power position of Rome and the Church State soon
proved to be an illusion due to the Reformation's division of Europe and the
interference of France and not least the German-Roman emperor Charles V into
Italian affairs. In 1527 the city was thus ravaged by Charles V's troops, see
Sacco di Roma.
The pope succeeded in riding off the storm; with the Counter-Reformation and
the implementation of the great Tridentine Council of 1545-63, the city was
rebuilt once more. 1560-1600 the population grew from approx. 45,000 to about
100,000 inhabitants, and the expanding Rome became the visible sign of the
revived Catholicism. It was built like never before, and a large number of
Rome's churches, palaces and fountains are from this time. Pope Sixtus V
(1585-90) restored the city's ancient shrines and connected them with mighty,
winding processional roads.
While the popes' Rome still held political, ecclesiastical and cultural
authority until 1650, conditions changed in the following 150 years, under
the impression of the many bloody European wars of religion, especially the
Thirty Years' War, and of the ideas of the Enlightenment. In the 1700's. Rome
became more and more a symbol of stagnation and aversion to change, and
especially from the 1760's the full consequences appeared. In connection with the
Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Rome was conquered by Napoleon I in 1798, and
the Church State was dissolved. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, a
disillusioned and even more conservative papacy returned to the city, and only
with the military support of Austria and since Napoleon III could the Pope's
Rome and the Church State be maintained until the Italian unification movement
began in earnest in the 1850's. With the conquest of Rome in 1870, the country's
unification was completed,
The pope, who described himself as a prisoner of the Vatican Palace, refused
to recognize the young kingdom and ordered all orthodox Catholics to do the
same; only with the Lateran Settlement of 1929, when Italy and the Vatican City
State recognized each other's sovereignty, did relations normalize.
The new status of Italy's capital made Rome grow rapidly again. Already
around 1930, it rounded 1 million. and was on its way to becoming a modern
European metropolis. The royal family took over the Pope's Quirinal Palace as a
residence, and a large number of state institutions were built in the eastern
part of the city. Between the Capitol and the Roman Forum, a monument to the
Italian collection, the Vittorio Emanuele Monument (inaugurated in 1911), was
erected, and at the same time, ancient Rome became the subject of systematic
Under fascist rule in 1922-43, Rome became the symbol of the resurrected,
expansive Roman Empire. A number of fascist-inspired buildings were erected,
including the Olympic Stadium for the 1940 Olympics, which, however, was never
held. In addition, Mussolini modernized the city by e.g. to build the new
district EUR and several satellite cities on the river plain around Rome,
Campagna di Roma. When the fascist regime collapsed in 1943, a German occupation
of the city followed until 1944. With the intervention of the pope, Rome was
declared an open city, but it was probably rather out of consideration for the
city's art treasures and the pope that it largely avoided allies. air
bombardments. With the introduction of the Republic in 1946, the President took
over the Quirinal Palace.
After 1950, the city has expanded tremendously and it has been characterized
by significant economic growth. The importance of the city in the European
context was re-expressed when the Treaty establishing the European Economic
Community (Treaty of Rome) was signed at the Capitol in 1957.
Rome's environmental and infrastructural problems, which has been made
clear in the context of Italy's hosting of the 1990 FIFA World Cup and up to the
celebration of the year 2000 as a holy year, reinforced by the need to make the
modern metropolis function side by side and in part within the framework of a
large and valuable historic city center. In addition, it is approx. 150,000 ha
municipality's obligations to the suburbs, which together with Rome's status as
capital and the city's special importance often create problems with conflicts
of interest and intersecting competencies between municipality, province, region