Enrico de Nicola was a bachelor who loved books, the Bay of Naples, and peace to enjoy them both. When he had finally given in to a persistent telephone bell last week he asked angrily: "What is it? I was reading and sunbathing. Who is it that wants me?"
"The nation wants you," came the answer from a spokesman for Italy's three major political parties.
"You are not the nation," snapped De Nicola. He hung up and retreated to his sunny peace.
In Rome's sweltering Monte Citorio Palace, where the Constituent Assembly met, the three parties refused to accept De Nicola's refusal. He...