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Enrico Berlinguer

Enrico Berlinguer was an influential Italian politician who served as the national secretary of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) from 1972 until his untimely death. His tenure coincided with a turbulent period in Italy's history known as the Years of Lead and the Hot Autumn of 1969-1970, during which there were major social conflicts.

Enrico Berlinguer

Enrico Berlinguer Facts

  1. 1.

    Secretary of the Communist Party

    Berlinguer also supported the election of the veteran Socialist Sandro Pertini as President of Italy, but his presidency did not produce the effects that the PCI had hoped for.

  2. 2.

    Early political career

    In 1937, Berlinguer had his first contacts with Sardinian anti-Fascists and in 1943 formally entered the Italian Communist Party, soon becoming the secretary of the Sassari section.

  3. 3.

    Secretary of the Communist Party

    In 1976, Berlinguer confirmed the autonomous position of the PCI vis-à-vis the Soviet Communist Party.

  4. 4.

    Early political career

    In 1946, Togliatti became the national secretary (the highest political position) of the PCI and called Berlinguer to Rome, where his talents let him enter the national leadership only two years later (at the age of 26, one of the youngest members ever admitted).

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    Impact on Italian society

    Besides making him the protagonist of the movie Berlinguer ti voglio bene (Berlinguer, I Love You), Benigni appeared with Berlinguer during a public political demonstration of the Italian Communist Party (of which he was a sympathiser).

  6. 6.

    Secretary of the Communist Party

    When Berlinguer finally secured the PCI's condemnation of any kind of "interference", the rupture with the Soviets was effectively complete (although the party still for some years received money from Moscow).

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