ITALY: The Antagonist's Face

In the struggle between Communism and the West for the political allegiance of the Italian people, the U.S. last week made an important tactical move: it crossed Italy's war debt (about $1 billion) off the books. Italy's frozen accounts in the U.S. will be thawed, her merchant ships returned. Italians were grateful for the agreement, negotiated by able Ivan Matteo Lombardo, an industrialist who became Secretary-General of the Socialist Party. But with the skepticism of a long-suffering nation, many wondered what the U.S. would ask in return.

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