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The Pentapartito (from Italian Penta, five, and partito, party) refers to the coalition of five Italian political parties that formed governments throughout the 1980s and the early 1990s.


The new majority[edit]

The Pentapartito began in 1981 when, in a trailer, while the Congress of the PSI, it signed an agreement, said the "Pact of camper", among the christian democrat Arnaldo Forlani and Socialist Secretary Bettino Craxi, with the "blessing" of Giulio Andreotti the Pact was also called "CAF" (Craxi-Andreotti-Forlani). With this agreement, DC recognize equal dignity to so-called "secular parties" of the majority (i.e. the socialists, social democrats, iberals and republicans) was also guaranteed an alternation of Government (in fact obtained the Presidency of the Council also Giovanni Spadolini of the PRI, which was the first non-Christian Democrat Prime Minister, and Craxi of PSI). With the birth of the Pentapartito was finally dismissed the possibility of the enlargement of the majority against the Communist Party. The Christian Democrats remained the leader of the coalition party, chosen and managed several times to prevent representatives of the secular parties became Presidents (Ciriaco De Mita was opposed, for example, a continuous veto against Craxi).

Other sources, however, claim that the "Covenant of the camper" has been stipulated only in 1989, in a parking lot of Ansaldo in Milan, where took place the Congress of the Italian Socialist Party, Craxi, Forlani and Andreotti. The Pact would have provided a path that would have started with the fall of the De Mita Government and the formation of an Executive of a Social Democrat-led transition, culminating in another Craxi Government, when it will release the armchair del Quirinale where the investiture is scheduled or of Andreotti and Forlani. Eugenio Scalfari in July 1989 will define "a regime".

The end and Tangentopoli[edit]

It was litigious, the coalition was doomed to a quick end, which in fact occurred in 1991, when the PRI emerged from the coalition without coverage. He was born on Andreotti VII cabinet (lasted until 1992). This ruling coalition belongs to the twilight period of the so-called first Republic in Italy, the season ended with the mani pulite investigation conducted by the Prosecutor's Office in Milan, involving numerous politicians and almost all the national leaders of the parties that made up the pentapartito: Giulio Andreotti (DC), Arnaldo Forlani (DC), Ciriaco De Mita (DC), Paolo Cirino Pomicino (DC), Bettino Craxi (PSI), Renato Altissimo (PLI), Francesco De Lorenzo (PLI), Giorgio La Malfa (PRI) and many others, with the notable exception of Giovanni Spadolini, which never had charges against him.

This phase of Italian democracy is known as Tangentopoli, in particular, resulted in the resignation of the Amato Government, massacred by the judicial communications, just after the divorce referendum 18 and April 19, 1993, which concerned the law strictly proportional election of the Senate.

Subsequently, the President of the Republic Oscar Luigi Scalfaro sent the Government's formation, the Governor of the Bank of Italy Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, with the mandate to deal with the serious economic crisis and rewrite the electoral law. An electoral law was passed in predominantly majority either way for the Chamber and the Senate. They returned to the polls in 1994 in order to locate the repositioning of the parties in the light of new electoral legislation (which was still applied only in 1996 and, for the last time, in 2001).


Party Main ideology Leader/s
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy
Giulio Andreotti, Arnaldo Forlani
Italian Socialist Party
Social democracy
Bettino Craxi
Italian Democratic Socialist Party
Pietro Longo, Franco Nicolazzi
Italian Republican Party
Social liberalism
Giovanni Spadolini, Giorgio La Malfa
Italian Liberal Party
Renato Altissimo


The unofficial successor of the Pentapartito was the Pact for Italy, the centrist coalition led of Mariotto Segni and his "pact", the PPI of Mino Martinazzoli, inheritors of the DC, the PRI of Giorgio La Malfa and the Liberal Democratic Union (Unione Liberaldemocratica) of Valerio Zanone.


The Pentapartito was a collection of parties of the Center and center-left opposed to both, judged still too extremist, Italian Communist Party left-wing that to the right-wing of the Italian Social Movement - National Right. Despite the character itself is secular coalition and far more tending to the left, underwent conservative influences both the Christian Democracy from the Liberal Party, and ironically also from the Socialist Party. The latter had a strong social democratic, keynesian and liberal socialist groups, but also economic liberal and conservative factions, specially on issues such as drugs (the "War on Drugs" of Craxi), foreign policy (The famous "Sigonella" crisis) and on economic policies (Craxi didn't retain the state intervention in the economy pursued by the Christian democrats in the 1960s and 1970s).

Internationally, the Pentaprtito relied on a strong pro-Europeanism and atlanticism from a pro-Arab policy, (Craxi and Andreotti). This fact caused many frictions between the Liberals and the Socialists, and was one of the causes of disintegration of the coalition.