BUSINESS ABROAD: Gulf's Progress

As the boss of Italy's state-run oil monopoly (ENI), Enrico Mattei is a bitter foe of private enterprise. In 1957 he bulled through a punitive Italian oil law which put such restrictions on private oil companies that Gulf, the last U.S. firm wildcatting on the peninsula, got out (TIME, Feb. 4, 1957). Five months ago he got a concession in Iran in return for a promise to turn over 75% of oil profits, thus overturning the fifty-fifty pattern now in effect in the Middle East.

But last week in Sicily, which encourages private enterprise (TIME, Dec. 9), Mattei got his comeuppance...