ITALY: Distensione

Italy's Presidents, like other European Presidents, are expected to deliver harmless inaugural speeches in favor of orderly government and sober living. But last week newly elected President Giovanni Gronchi, Catholic advocate of the "opening to the Left," startled Italy's assembled legislators by delivering a rousing political inaugural that plainly pleased the Communists more than his own party, the Christian Democrats.

"A ten-year cycle has been closed," cried President Gronchi, "and a new phase is about to open." By the new phase, he meant himself. "I don't think I am being blinded by vanity, but I believe that never before has...

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