ITALY: Clamorous Defect

Italy's huge Communist Party, rejoicing only a few months ago in its great strength in the labor movement and its substantial minorities in the rural areas, last week was in shambling retreat.

The Fiat election, in which 49,600 workers at Italy's biggest plant overthrew ten years of Communist leadership (TIME, April 11), started a chain reaction. In the industrial north, the anti-Communist rebellion swept through plant after plant, winning elections outright in some, scoring big gains in others. At Milan's Officina Meccànica (truck bodies), the Communist vote plummeted from a secure 80%...

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