EUROPE: And Quietly the Med Flows Red

Winston Churchill once referred to southern Europe as "the soft underbelly" of the continent. Three decades later, his anatomical description has fresh currency and a new political meaning. Scarcely six months ago, the corners of the southern tier—Portugal and Greece —were firmly controlled by militantly anti-Communist dictatorships. Not only have the dictators disappeared, but long-repressed Communist parties are eagerly grasping for a share of political power. In the center of the tier, meanwhile, yet another impotent center-left government fell in Italy last week, raising fears in some quarters that Communists...

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