British 1970s plans for Rightist coup d’état in Italy

This video about Italian fascism is called Benito Mussolini – History Documentary.

From British daily The Independent:

How Britain plotted coup d’état to topple Italy’s Communists

By Peter Popham in Rome

Published: 14 January 2008

Britain and its Nato allies considered organising a coup in Italy in 1976 to prevent the Communist Party from coming to power, Foreign Office papers reveal.

The documents, made public after 30 years, were unearthed by an Italian researcher in the government archives at Kew, Surrey. In 1976, the Cold War was still raging, Henry Kissinger was the US Secretary of State and Italy’s political situation was a shambles.

After 30 years of domination by the corrupt Christian Democrat party (DC), the country was ready for change. The Partito Comunista Italiana (PCI), led by the moderate Enrico Berlinguer, was the only political force which seemed to offer it. In an election scheduled for 20 June 1976, there was a strong chance it would beat the Christian Democrats into second place and lead a coalition.

A secret Foreign Office memo dated 6 May 1976, entitled Italy And The Communists: Options For The West, floated one possible course of action as “action in support of a coup d’etat or other subversive action”. The authors admitted: “By its nature, a coup d’etat could lead to unpredictable developments.” But they added that, in theory at least, “it could be promoted. In one way or another, the force of the right could be counted on, with the support of the police and the army”.

“The force of the right” which the NATO plotters counted on, included the successors to dictator Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, the “Italian Social Movement” (today: “National Allliance”). There were various neo-fascist coup d’état plans in Italy.

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