INTRODUCTION

Southern Europe as a region sharing common features emerged as a concept in the thinking of American and British policymakers during the 1970s. The collapse of authoritarian regimes in Portugal and Greece and the end of the dictatorship in Spain, taking place almost simultaneously in the mid-1970s, were the political facts underlying this assumption. It was not however only a problem of transition from authoritarianism to democracy that shaped events. The rise of the Communist Party of Italy and the prospect of communist participation in a NATO member-state’s parliamentary government posed questions of viability of democracy within the Cold War context. Seen from this angle the main southern European dilemma was the relation of authoritarianism and democracy with Cold War imperatives that shaped international relations from the immediate post-war era to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Till the 1970s these countries were treated ad hoc and separately by Western policymakers. Greece had entered the post-war period seen in its Near East and Balkan context. Portugal was perceived as an integral part of the Atlantic area, seen by naval powers as an important staging post to Europe while Spain, although isolated as a result of domestic political developments, belonged to the western European geographical and historical setup. Italy was perceived as belonging to a Mediterranean context, a crucial circle in the chain connecting the western and the eastern Mediterranean ends, and simultaneously to a western European one. Thus it is clear that southern Europe as a political concept was mainly a construct of the 1970s, a consequence of political developments that signified a rise of the left, a problem related directly to the Cold War waged by the superpowers and their allies. Nevertheless, as Edward Malefakis has demonstrated, southern Europe, although not constituting a clearly defined and homogeneous area in economic, social and cultural terms, shared some common features, rendering it distinct from the core of western Europe or the east central European region that fell within the Soviet sphere of influence after World War II.1 This book is an attempt to explore from an Anglo-American perspective the relationship between political developments in the four southern Euro-

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pean countries during the 1960s and the 1970s and the US and British policies towards them in the light of available American and British diplomatic archival sources and bibliography. Moreover it examines the way political outcomes were influenced, primarily, by the US and, secondarily, by Britain operating mostly in the context of the Anglo-American special relationship. The main argument of this book is that in the formulation of US and British policies, Cold War considerations were preponderant and that although external influence to the countries involved was not standard and given from the start, it was significant though not quantifiable. Moreover, it is argued that the tenets and assumptions of the special Anglo-American relationship were not affected by the developments in Southern Europe but, to the contrary, the policies of the US and Britain and the particular ways the two powers interacted in the southern European context were subject to the power realities that already underpinned the relationship between Washington and London.

The Anglo-American Relationship and Southern Europe

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The Anglo-American policy towards Southern Europe is mostly conforming to the general pattern of Anglo-American relations. Since 1946 the US’s and Britain’s relative position in the countries involved shifted along with the shifting pattern of their relative power. The centre of gravity of the Anglo-American relationship was moving to the American side.2 The British voluntarily relinquished their preponderant position in Greece and Turkey in 1947 after they had introduced the Americans in their facilities in the Azores in 1944. They also were at pain to retain their position in Italy seeing their influence decrease in favour of the Americans. Political constraints at home prevented Britain from playing a role in Spain, and Washington would soon formulate a policy of bilateral cooperation out of Cold War necessity. It was also a fact that the British objected to the full integration in NATO of Italy, Greece and Turkey, lest London’s designs for a solid Mediterranean British presence be jeopardized. Britain’s Mediterranean strategy was however incompatible with US strategic thinking, which saw the countries involved in a more diverse strategic context including Europe as well. Notwithstanding different prioritization, with the process of transferring responsibility to the Americans completed, the British generally conformed to the new realities. They retained whatever degree of influence they were able to, but they did not attempt to undermine US supremacy. Whenever their views and interests in Southern Europe were strong or different from the Americans’ the British would not press them beyond the breaking point, especially after the Suez crisis. Thus during the 1950s they would retain a more open-minded policy towards the centre-left formula in Italy while in Greece they would not accept as

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an article of faith the necessity of conservative rule, but their objections would not be put to test in practice. Overall, the Anglo-American relationship was paramount in the formation of the Western alliance in the 1940s. Both America and Britain were powerful enough to shape events at this early Cold War period. Changes in the international and the European context in the late 1950s and the early 1960s made the special relationship less important internationally: Britain’s economic decline was reflected in its reduced defence capabilities. The Suez crisis of 1956 amplified its inability to pursue a policy independent from the US while the European integration process signified the re-emergence of France and the Federal Republic of Germany as important factors in western Europe.3 Moreover, America itself was increasingly receptive demographically, culturally, economically and politically to non-Anglo-Saxon influences. However, the special relationship retained its unique depth and breadth in political consultation, intelligence sharing and nuclear cooperation.4 The need, as was seen from Washington, to manage the challenge posed to the NATO cohesion by Charles De Gaulle’s independent policy and the imperative to formulate a coordinated détente policy towards Moscow undoubtedly reinvigorated the special relationship at a time that Britain was losing ground from a financial and military perspective.5 During the 1960s the initiative in Italy and Greece remained clearly in American hands. The centre-left formula was endorsed by Washington under the Kennedy administration in 1962–3, and the British became more active, after the formation of the centre-left coalition in Rome, with the return of the British Labour Party to government in 1964. In the Greek context the British were mostly observers of the political crisis of 1965–7 that eventually led to the demise of parliamentary institutions. The British tended to share the analysis of the Americans and the monarchy on the dangers posed for the Atlantic alliance by a prospective victory of the Centre Union. This stance more or less determined the formulation of a tolerant policy towards the junta which was seen as the lesser of evils. During the coexistence of the Heath and Nixon administrations developments in southern Europe were not so serious as to become a part of the Anglo-American agenda which was directly concerned with the basic questions of US relations with Britain and the European Community.6 Labour’s return to power, with Harold Wilson and James Callaghan being much more Atlanticist in their orientation than Edward Heath, did not preclude differences of opinion, acute at times, as happened in the Cyprus crisis of 1974. It was evident nevertheless that Britain was again a trusted partner of Washington since the fundamental Atlantic orientation of British policy was not at question.7 Moreover, the rise to the chancellorship of Helmut Schmidt after Willy Brandt’s resignation in Germany and the election of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing

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in the French presidency, both taking place in May 1974, restored a good working relationship between Washington and its most important European allies and made rather convenient the operation of both the Anglo-American and the European pillars of British policy. In this context it is still valid to approach the southern European developments from a perspective that takes account of the relationship between America and Britain although this relationship was not the exclusive determinant of developments. The Federal Republic of Germany was increasingly an important factor as a European power closely aligned to the US, NATO and the European Community.

Dealing with the Rise of the Left
Geostrategic considerations were paramount in the American assessment of political developments in southern Europe. Washington possessed significant mechanisms to influence events: public diplomacy, economic aid, covert action and last but not least the potential to address directly the Cold War adversary, the USSR.8 In the first post-war decade Europe was in the process of reconstruction. American aid was a fundamental tenet of this process and Washington’s leverage was enormous. The US was able to reformulate domestic politics in Greece and Italy, but American intervention did not unfold in a social and political vacuum. During the Truman administration the US was prone to lend support to reformist attempts in the economic and political sphere, but after the outbreak of the Korean war in June 1950, in the context of strategic and military considerations emanating from the hardening Cold War views, a policy shift was discernible. The military aspects of containment were emphasized, and Washington tended now to support more or less conservative political formulas.9 In Greece a conservative constellation under a royalist field marshal reversed a policy of reconciliation towards the left and in Italy, although the Christian Democracy was still the favoured choice, US pressure was applied so that an almost repressive stance towards the Communists was adopted. Moreover, any pretension held that a democratization process should be initiated in Spain was abandoned, and the US undertook negotiations with Madrid so that facilities were secured and a security connection with Spain was established. In Portugal it was assumed from the start that the country would remain an authoritarian regime as long as Antonio Oliveira de Salazar was at the helm. This conservative outlook in Washington’s policy preferences was consolidated under the Eisenhower Republican administration. The political scene was gradually altered from the early 1960s. Social change in the form of urbanization and demands of increased welfare, as a result of the

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economic expansion visible in the late 1950s, started to reshape politics in the parliamentary regimes of Italy and Greece in a way that tested the endurance of conservative domination and enhanced the appeal of the left. Détente was another important factor.10 Apart from its appeal to European electorates, it was conceived by a part of political elites as an opportunity to regain a margin of independence from Washington. In the case of Greece an additional factor of destabilization of the post-civil war political order was nationalism. From the mid-1950s onwards Athens collided with Britain and Turkey as it pursued the annexation of Cyprus to Greece. Washington, concerned over the consequences on allied unity, responded cautiously at best to Athens and Greek Cypriots’ demands, and anti-Americanism, the destabilization of Greek political structure and the questioning of Greece’s Atlantic connection were recurrent themes in Greek politics concomitant to every crisis in Cyprus: 1955–9, 1963–4, 1974. The last Cyprus crisis was instrumental in triggering the process which led to the collapse of the military regime and the establishment of a solid democracy. However, it should not be disregarded that Cyprus and Greek–Turkish relations were not independent variables in Greek politics but coincided with developments in the societal and economic levels which affected the parties and introduced Greece to the era of mass politics. While the troubled relationship between Washington, Athens and Ankara should not be ignored, it was domestic socio-economic developments and their political impact that should be emphasized. American response was adjusted in the early 1960s under the Kennedy administration. The new president emphasized the need for reform, the broadening of the political base of the conservative dominated parliamentary regimes of Italy and Greece and a possible democratization process in Portugal and Spain. Containment was conceived in broader terms than the purely military ones. Reform and the broadening of the political base of pro-Western regimes was seen as the prerequisite of enhanced legitimacy that would prevent the rise of pro-Soviet or neutralist governments. The Kennedy administration did not denounce American intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries nor did it necessarily preclude cooperation or alliance with authoritarian regimes. It was not assumed that American influence did imply a world shaped in America’s image but it was inconceivable that Washington could or should lead a world with the US democratic system being an exception to the rule. It was also assumed that new elites and groups, emerging all over the world in the early 1960s, would be preferable to ageing leaders and regimes too much identified with the concepts and assumptions prevailing in the 1950s.11 In this mindset the White House favoured in Italy the inclusion of the Socialist Party in the governing coalition in the hope that socialist participation would unleash the forces of the delayed and necessary reforms which would enhance

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legitimacy and undercut the sources of communist strength. From the White House’s viewpoint, the developmental process had ignited expectations of the working classes. Demand for distribution of wealth in a society that produced consumer goods on a massive scale asked for a political response articulated by the political space ranging between conservatism and communism. The centre-left seemed to be an ideal political formula to be applied across western Europe, in West Germany after Conrad Adenauer, in France after De Gaulle, in Spain after Francisco Franco. Moreover, as Arthur Schlesinger pointed out ‘the consolidation of a Western European center-left would also be the best guarantee against the communist effort to revive the prewar united front with the Socialists’.12 International considerations as well made the centre-left experiment appealing to Washington. The Socialists were becoming more Atlanticist in their foreign policy outlook, not an insignificant factor as the Americans were taking into account De Gaulle’s policy of independence and the General’s effort to forge a third force in international affairs through the political union of the European Community of the Six.13 The Italian Socialists’ Atlanticist agenda made sure that similar tendencies in the Italian political spectrum would not take preponderance in formulating Rome’s foreign policy.14 The centre-left formula as such was not extended to Greece, for the situation in the political space between the conservatives and the communist left was much more amorphous to permit this. On top of that no socialist formation existed in Greek politics, the Communists monopolized the left. In this context Washington’s priority was to encourage the unification of disparate liberal groups in a centrist formation as a bulwark against the expansion of the Communists’ appeal.15 While the Kennedy administration did not undermine the conservatives’ position it was felt that the new Centre Union party was an alternative favourable to the continuation of Greece’s pro-US orientation. The Kennedy administration’s novel approach was extended to Portugal. Washington became critical towards Lisbon’s colonial policy but the expected removal of Salazar from power through a military intervention did not materialize as the Portuguese Premier commanded still the loyalty of an important segment of the armed forces.16 It was a collision of two worldviews. Salazar led a regime tied to tradition, authoritarianism and colonialism. The outer world and the advance of modernity were perceived as hostile and disruptive forces and the concomitant insecurity prevented the initiation of even a slow process towards self-determination in the African colonies and democracy in Portugal itself. The White House staff was inclined to exert pressure to Salazar’s regime which ‘was hopelessly anchored in its medieval certitudes’, but Washington in the end felt compelled to act cautiously for the Azores facilities’ agreement was to expire in 1963 and the Chiefs of Staff judged the retention of it to be absolutely necessary from a military point of view.17

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In Spain the US policy evolved even more cautiously since it was anticipated by Kennedy’s White House aides that the centre-left formula would be applicable in the post-Franco era. Thus military considerations, the need in particular to secure the continuation of facilities in the Iberian peninsula, limited the reformist drive of the Kennedy administration vis-a-vis well-entrenched authoritarian regimes. The US approach shifted again during the Johnson administration. The Vietnam imbroglio hardened the attitude of the administration and the outlook of its policies was markedly conservative. Washington’s analysis of the social and political forces at work was not necessarily different from the previous one but its conclusions and policy ramifications were. A marked pessimism was obvious in Washington’s thinking as the 1960s were drawing to their close. Samuel Huntington articulated this trend: economic development and modernization were not necessarily leading to political liberalization and democracy in the developing world. To the contrary, Huntington claimed, there was a growing gap between existing political institutions and the social forces that were in the ascendancy. In this context the possibility of authoritarianism imposed on changing societies was not remote. The army was an agent of those authoritarian solutions since this institution tended to play a more conservative role in modern societies. While in the nineteenth century the army was an agent of change forcing the opening of political systems to middle classes in the twentieth its role was rather conservative, tending to block the advance of the new lower middle classes and labour. Monarchies as well were under stress. At some point kings would be faced with the dilemma either to permit the opening of the political system thus rendering the monarchy ineffective or to block political modernization and revert to autocratic practice.18 Huntington’s analysis focused mainly on countries in Latin America, SouthEast Asia or Africa but it was implied that his conclusions could be applicable to the fringes of Europe as well. The perception of failures in nation building as the cause of the military coup in Greece was evident in the administrative history of the State Department covering the period of Johnson administration. The country encountered problems in nation-building and transition to modernity identical to those confronted by Third World countries in the process of modernization. While the economic aspects of Greek transition were rather good, the political ones were almost insurmountable. Political immaturity was the substratum of the coup of 1967.19 The implication was that if US strategic interests could be served adequately by authoritarian regimes then undue attention should not be paid to violation of democratic norms. The British Labour government displayed a similar empiricist or agnostic approach towards democracy. While it ascribed to the view that the centre-left formula was the only democratic solution for Italy, it tolerated the military coup that overthrew the parliamentary system in Greece. In July 1965 the British

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Labour government had already acquiesced to the King’s effort to neutralize the Centre Union, violating the established practice of constitutional monarchy, on the grounds that the CU government’s behaviour jeopardized Greece’s Atlantic connection. The coup of 1967 was tolerable on the same grounds: if the coup did not occur, the CU would return to power and the NATO connection would be undermined. Thus, London’s thinking in both the Italian and the Greek case ran in parallel with Washington’s. With the advent of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the White House, US thinking focused entirely on the strategic repercussions of political developments in US-allied countries. Nixon was concerned that the Vietnam war had burdened the United States financially and psychologically. The cost of direct American military involvement in South-East Asia was so high that Washington could not envisage interventions of that scale in future. The US instead aimed to provide its allies economic and military aid sufficient to stabilize the region in question and establish a favourable balance of power vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and its allies.20 In this mindset, democracy and human rights were subordinated to the overriding security concern. Kissinger, the main architect of Nixon’s foreign and security policy, tended to see the international system as a bipolar construct which was under stress from emerging powers all over the world. One of his main preoccupations was to enhance the US position by coming to understandings with the opposite superpower.21 Internal developments in allied countries should be interpreted by their relation to international equilibrium. The advent of left-wing forces, willing or unwilling to cooperate and acknowledge the realities of American power, was not welcomed from Kissinger’s viewpoint. Left-wing or communist governments or coalitions within which the communists had a power-share, even if they operated independently from Moscow, weakened the Atlantic alliance’s foundations. By their very existence they eroded a basic notion that the world system was dominated by two superpowers which, whatever their understandings, were still adversaries in a quest of supremacy.22 This approach implied also that a democratic political system in Europe, or elsewhere, did not necessarily possess the capability of a democratic alternative that would not be harmful to Western security interests. As a result Washington was inclined to cooperate with right-wing authoritarian regimes. The collapse of authoritarianism in Greece and Portugal in 1974, Franco’s eclipse in Spain in 1975 and the rise of the Communists’ appeal in Italy in 1975–6 posed for Washington serious questions of alliance management entangled with domestic political developments both in the allied countries and the US itself. At the time of the transition from dictatorship to democracy in southern Europe, the British Labour government, committed to NATO and the special relationship and, simultaneously, an important element of the Socialist International, would contribute to American thinking a new positive perspective,

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an acknowledgment of possibilities offered by democratization and democratic socialism. The British Labour government’s political preferences were not held only by Britain in western Europe. West Germany’s coalition government of Social Democrats (SPD) and Liberals (FDP) held similar views backed by the growing German economic power. Nonetheless, the ability of the British to communicate with the US foreign policy bureaucracy, unparalleled by the other NATO allies, provided Britain an influence of some degree which however is not quantifiable. Kissinger’s assumptions and policy towards the rise of the left were questioned by the Democrats and, eventually, the president elect, Jimmy Carter. The Carter administration criticized Kissinger’s conduct of foreign policy on the grounds that it disregarded moral imperatives related to human rights and political liberties.23 On the particular issue of communist participation in the Italian government, the Carter administration’s pronouncements were not as clear-cut as its predecessor’s were, giving ground to the Italian Communists’ claims that the US veto to their entry to government had been lifted. Carter’s policy was not in fact favourable to communist participation in government. The administration’s initial ambiguity emanated from a wish to draw a line in its mode of public diplomacy from that of the Ford administration, not least, from its effort not to undermine Mitterand’s strategy of reigning over the communist left through cooperation. In this context harsh US rhetoric on Italy might burden the situation in France. The Carter administration’s ensuing hardening towards the historical compromise should be understood in the wider context of eroding détente. National Security adviser Zbignew Brzezinski was concerned over developments in western Europe that seemed to signify an advantage not only for the left or the communist parties but for the Soviet Union as well. The readiness of the Italian Christian Democrats to come to terms with the Communists was not anymore seen as a case meriting a distinct policy approach but as a symptom of a trend set by the possibility of electoral victory of the united left in France and the activism of a strong neutralist current in West German politics emerging in the context of the euromissiles diplomacy between Washington and Moscow. This trend, as was perceived by Brzezinski, did have considerable implications for the domestic US scene as well, in that the Carter administration was criticized over its inability to check Soviet advance in the Third World. This growing concern was capitalized in the presidential election of 1980 by the conservative Republicans under Ronald Reagan.24

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The Rise of the Left in Southern Europe

Forces at Work: Catholicism, Socialism and the Middle Classes
However powerful the US were they did not operate in a vacuum. To influence developments the Americans were allied with or relied on ideologies and political movements that were operating on a scale beyond national boundaries but were simultaneously deeply rooted in national political contexts. Moreover, economic and social transformation that took place within a twenty-five-year period created a social landscape, the middle classes becoming prominent within it, conducive to the continuation of a US presence in European affairs. Catholicism was a potent force in southern European politics with the obvious exception of Greece. In the immediate post-war period, after the collapse of fascism, the Catholic Church proved to be a decisive factor in Italy shaping the political space in the centre and the right. Pre-war liberalism and the monarchy were discredited, the latter by its identification with Mussolini, its disassociation from the regime having come too late to repair the damage to its prestige. In this context Catholicism provided the ideological and organizational wherewithal to counter the Socialist and Communist parties. The Christian Democracy (DC), a stronger successor of the interwar Italian People’s Party, since the latter did not enjoy the Church’s support as the former did in the post-war period, was capable to forge an inter-class coalition by stressing the social aspects of Christian values while the Church provided the grass-roots organization of Catholic Action. Thus the Christian Democrats managed to rival the superior party structure of the Communists and, with US political and financial support, outvoted by far the combined lists of the left in the crucial elections of April 1948. DC was supported by conservatives who understood that neo-fascist and monarchist formations were not able to compete with the left, industrialists and landowners prominent among them.25 Moreover, DC’s appeal was not confined to them. Alcide De Gasperi, the first Christian Democrat leader, was able to occupy the centre of the political spectrum combining anti-communist attitude and reformist policies. The Catholic Church’s presence in politics remained crucial till the mid-1950s when another Christian Democrat leader, Amidore Fanfani, undertook the build-up of a party machine based to a great degree on patronage available to the government. From then on the Christian Democracy became organizationally autonomous, and the Church’s role was subtle but not unimportant.26 In the 1960s Catholicism, under the guidance of Pope John XXIII, attempted to adapt itself in a socially, culturally, politically and economically diversified environment. The Second Vatican Council (1962–5) encouraged the opening of the Church to a changing society taking into account demands for a more equitable distribution of wealth and a pervasive aspiration to international peace and détente. Politically the Catholic Church was prepared to tolerate political developments

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aimed to broaden the base of the Italian governments by including the Socialists in the ruling coalition, what became known as the centre-left experiment.27 The new openness emanating from the Second Vatican Council’s proceedings did not affect Italy exclusively. In Spain the Church’s position gradually shifted from that of adherence to Franco’s authoritarian regime, a direct consequence of the cleavage between the Church and anticlericalism which permeated the Republic and was cemented by the Civil War in the 1930s, to disapproval of the repressive aspects of a dictatorship that was being steadily alienated from the mass of Spanish society. A complex process of disengagement started in the 1960s and accelerated in the early 1970s.28 Repression was not the only factor that propelled the distancing of the Catholic Church from the dictatorship. The Opus Dei, instrumental in the modernization of the Spanish economy in the 1960s, favoured the country’s economic integration with western Europe. Society was acquiring aspects of the economically and socially developed countries of western Europe, while the Church could not stay indifferent, rhetorically at least, towards rising demands for redistribution of wealth created by rapid economic expansion. The Catholic Church was not indifferent as well to rising regionalism in Catalonia and the Basque provinces. The Vatican’s desire to reclaim full control of the bishops’ appointment process, reversing thus a settlement permitting Franco increased influence in the formation of the upper echelons of the Spanish Church, was also a considerable factor in the process of alienation of Catholicism from the Spanish dictatorship. In the mid-1970s a majority of ‘centrist’ bishops had prevailed within the ranks of the upper echelons of the Spanish Church and marginalized both the hardliner pro-Franco element and groups linked to a more left-wing, occasionally Marxist inspired, theological thinking.29 This ‘centrist’ approach supported the transition process to democracy initiated by the King and eventually generated support for the Union of the Democratic Centre (UDC) led by the Prime Minister, Adolfo Suárez. The Church did not encourage the formation of an overtly Christian party lest it provoke a resurgence of anticlericalism, but a strong current of the groups merged in the UDC were Christian Democratic. Moreover, it was obvious that since the Church supported democratization it had distanced itself from the right-wing formation led by Manuel Fraga, mostly identified with the authoritarian past, and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, linked to the anticlerical republican tradition.30 It is remarkable that while Catholicism in the mid-1970s was still influential it was not able to shape events as it did in the early Cold War period. This became evident in Italy in 1974–6. Secularization limited the appeal of the Church in a society that being urbanized, much more educated than previously and consumerist, shaped beliefs, attitudes, culture and a way of life profoundly different from the pious model of a traditional society. The referendum on divorce in 1974 was

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a clear sign that only a minority, significant as it might be, was attached to a way of life connected with the Church’s preaching. In Portugal Catholicism was a crucial factor in the process of the formation of an anti-communist coalition formed during the spring and summer of 1975. The Church had not distanced itself from the dictatorship as it had been much more hesitant in absorbing the Second Vatican Council’s pronouncements and logic. Its policy was directed against the left-wing currents which seemed to carry the day in Lisbon after an aborted right-wing coup in March 1975. In this effort the Church was tactically flexible. Its support was not directed solely to the right-wing and centrist parties but a part of its following in the north of the country lent its support to the Socialists. The latter were a force distinctly suitable to counter the communist advance in a political context imbued by Marxist thinking of various shades and a political agenda set by the goal of socialist transformation of the economy and society. Moreover the Church encouraged mass mobilization in the north against a Communist Party organizationally weak in this part of the country blocking thus the spread of its influence at a genuinely national scale. Contrary to Catholicism, the Orthodox Church did not markedly influence political developments in Greece. Structurally weak vis-a-vis the state, organized within the bounds of the nation-state after 1833, it was not an autonomous participant in Greek politics. Though anti-communist by definition, conservative and nationalist, as manifested in the Cyprus issue from 1950 onwards, it did not possess the resources, the skill or the desire to dominate politics in a way comparable to Catholicism.31 Democratic socialism was the other important factor in the shaping of developments in southern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. The Socialist International was reconstituted in 1951 gathering the west European Labour, Socialist and Social Democratic parties. Although acceptance of the division of Europe in blocs was gradual, in particular for the part of the German Social Democrats, the Socialist International was to become an umbrella organization of parties committed to political pluralism and human rights, rejecting the one-party rule dominating the people’s republics of Eastern Europe.32 In Italy the rapprochement of Socialists with the Christian Democrats and their participation in the centre-left coalitions for a decade (1963–74) had served the purpose of expanding the basis of legitimacy of a rather fragile democratic system which encountered the challenge of slowly but steadily increasing communist influence. It was the crisis of the centre-left formula in the mid-1970s that made possible communist participation in the Italian government, a prospect which, as seen from Washington, required a more active, interventionist approach towards Italian politics. The British were following only reluctantly as they saw

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some possibilities of ‘social-democratization’ of the Italian Communists that could be missed by a hard-line approach. The Italian Socialist Party (PSI) of the mid-1940s was mainly a labour class party with its base centred in the industrial north. At the time the centre-left experiment commenced, as indicated in the 1963 election, while more appealing in the Italian north it had approached a not negligible component of the southern Italian electorate. After its inclusion in government the process of the PSI’s transformation to an inter-class party accelerated and in the 1970s it resembled the DC, largely due to the utilization of patronage.33 The contribution of international factors to the socialist parties’ growth, notably in Spain and Portugal, is undeniable. The Socialist International was crucial in influencing, even forging, a new generation of socialist political forces in Portugal and Spain. In the former the Socialist International, and in particular the SPD, was able to aid the formation, in 1964, of the nucleus of a new Portuguese Socialist Party which was founded in 1973, in the last days of the dictatorship. It was less labour and more middle-class in its outlook.34 It proved capable of representing a strong current in Portuguese society by supporting more equality, and simultaneously, channelling social dissatisfaction after a long period of authoritarian rule to a pluralist, democratic project. At the same time the Socialists aligned themselves with a broad mass of a rather conservative opinion that perceived the party as the only available alternative against a left-wing spectrum encompassing from hard-line pro-Moscow Communists to far-left Maoists or radical populist elements in the military. In Spain, the Socialist International, the SPD and the British Labour Party, were traditional partners of the exiled leadership of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) after the defeat of the republican camp in the Spanish Civil War. In 1973 the Socialist International was instrumental in assuring the victory of a new, youthful and dynamic generation of socialist leaders, Felipe González being the most prominent among them.35 This new group marginalized an exiled leadership cut off from the workings of society and the socialist current within Spain which was undergoing the last phase of the Franco dictatorship. The Spanish party resembled, more than the Portuguese, a traditional socialist party closely associated with the labour movement.36 The coincidence in government of the SPD and the British Labour Party was a crucial element in the formulation of the Western response to the development of transitions in the Iberian Peninsula. Atlanticist in their outlook, both parties contributed significantly in reconciling the Iberian socialist parties with Washington by encouraging trends within the Ford administration favouring the alliance or bridge-building with democratic Socialism as a means to counter the rise of communist forces. The fact that Germany and Britain were active members of the European Community strengthened their appeal to the south

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as European integration was an integral part of socialist aspiration and strategy of the Iberian socialists.37 As it has been pointed out, liberties, development and stabilization of democracy were synonymous with Europe. The European Community possessed moral influence and economic leverage. Furthermore, the EC was more positively perceived than NATO in every south European country.38 Contrary to Portugal, Spain and Italy, where Socialism was aligned to the West, the Socialists in Greece constituted rather the problem than the solution to the Western strategic and political dilemmas. The Socialists were not a significant force in Greek politics till the mid-1970s. The lack of a solid labour basis meant that democratic Socialism was confined to sidelined intellectuals or middle-class groups till the late 1960s. The socialist movement, in its infancy in the late 1910s, was immediately seized by pro-Moscow elements attracted by the prospect of a swift revolutionary takeover upon the Russian model of 1917. Demands for redistribution, social equality and welfare were represented in the 1960s by a slightly centre-left Centre Union tracing its origins mainly in the liberal republican camp of the interwar period. The clash of the Centre Union government with the Crown in 1965 contributed to the emergence of a new centre-left wing of the party under Andreas Papandreou, son of the party’s leader and a US-educated economics professor. His platform was radical in the sense that it attacked the Crown, the Greek entrepreneurial class, the right-wing higher echelons of the military and the conservatives, a constellation of forces which he labelled as the establishment. Greece’s US connection was heavily criticized on the grounds that it shored up the Greek establishment and favoured Turkish interests in the Cyprus conflict. It was more a populist than a socialist platform since Papandreou addressed a non-privileged people’s majority against a privileged minority, neither the former nor the latter being identifiable with particular social groups. It was not an inter-class alliance cemented by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) but a mass mobilization beyond classes.39 After the fall of the Greek colonels in 1974 the themes of the Centre Union centre-left wing constituted PASOK’s agenda enriched by neo-Marxist thinking on the centre–periphery relationship. Papandreou remained distant from the Socialist International, seen from his viewpoint as a close US ally and thus a potential stumbling block to the promised change of the Greek political and social system. Only gradually in the late 70s would he expand contacts on a piecemeal basis with southern European socialists out of the Socialist International context. PASOK was opposed to EC Greek membership perceiving the Community as the economic wing of NATO and potentially destabilizing for the uncompetitive Greek industry and agriculture.40 Finally, it should not be missed that economic and social change during what was termed the ‘trentes glorieuses’ reconfigured the political context within which America’s relationship with the southern European political systems

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operated.41 Europe underwent a rapid phase of reconstruction, aided initially by the Marshall plan of 1947–52 and the eventual formation of the European Economic Community.42 Development and increasing welfare was not confined to the western European core but extended to the southern European periphery and transformed societies profoundly. Politically the economic and social change would bring turbulence and uncertainty in southern Europe during the 1960s but eventually it would lay the foundation for the formation of middle classes that functioned as a social base favourable to the establishment and consolidation of the democratic regimes of the 1970s. Urbanization and industrialization though helpful for the emergence of more radical views leaning to the left were accompanied by the emergence of relatively prosperous middle and lower-middle strata who would not actually favour a lurch to the left. This is a common feature in the developments in southern Europe in the mid-1970s.

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