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Summary 1999(1)


Between regionalism and Nation: the Italian Communist Party and the problem of secession in Sicily (1943-1947) (Andrea Guiso)

Secessionist feelings. and an organised secessionist movement, arose in Sicily after the fall of Fascism as a consequence of the crisis of the Italian national State. A fragmented and isolated communist movement did not initially know how to cope with this challenge, divided as it was between those favourable to the preservation of Italian unity and those wishing to reorganise the country as a federation of soviet republics. Only some time after Togliatti's return from the USSR could the PCI formulate a clear strategy for Sicily: secession was ruled out, but its supporters, in particular those belonging to the middle classes, had to be attracted under communist hegemony. In order to achieve this target, the PCI supported the idea of granting Sicily wide powers of self-government. While the communists paid much attention to the social and economic goals Sicilian self-government should aim at, however, their way d confronting the problem of the legal structure of Sicilian local administration was largely instrumental to the political struggle.

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