We were reminded them – the so-called years of lead of the recent history of Italy. Faced with the obvious degradation of the democratic regime, victim of all types of external threats and a true feeling of non-government and empty power, the Italian Communist Party (PCI) offered undoubted guarantees for a democratic regeneration from the left. He had, indeed, with a broad social and electoral support that turned him into the first communist party of the Western world, plus the prestige that his old antifascist commitment gave him very diverse social sectors and, finally, the charisma and solvency of his Leader, Enrico Berlinguer, impeller of the calling Eurocommunism – a Western Communism, closer to the Social Democratic tradition than residual Stalinism of most communist parties and historical commitment to other democratic forces of center and center-left. This last formula was presented as a possibilist solution capable of throwing the risks of political change, since the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973 offered a recent example of the danger danger that lurked to the left when an adjusted electoral victory took it to power . The PCI Agreement with other forces could also counteract the perverse effects of a proportional electoral system that made absolute majority very difficult and forced to govern in coalition. The great occasion seemed to appear in the legislative elections of 1976, which the PCI was more likely to be overcome Christian democracy. In a last effort to win the vote of the moderate left and pave the way to a future “Democratic Unity Government, Berlinguer came to declare Al Correire Della will be that the Atlantic Covenant could be a useful instrument for the construction of a freedom socialism (Mammarella, 1990, 429). The result harvested by the Communists, however, was far from the expected. The 228 deputies achieved by the PCI, compared to the 262 of Christian democracy, meant an estimable rise -cincomes more than In 1972-, but insufficient to convert the PCI into force of government and carry out the long-awaited historical commitment. However, the 1976 elections would mark the electoral roof of Italian communism and the beginning of a slow decline that would undermine the gradualist strategy Designed by Berlinguer.
The French case presents some similarities with the Italian, although one and another country ended up touring very different roads in the following years.