ITALY: Commissars & Mystics

On posters plastered on sun-warmed walls all over Italy, bat-winged devils erupted from a walled town above the Christian Democratic slogan: "Liberate our communes from the trustees of Moscow!" For the first time in four years, Italy's 7,143 communes are electing new governments next Sunday. Though only municipal elections, they will be read as a political referendum on Premier Antonio Segni's year-old Christian Democratic government. Italy's biggest political guns, from Segni himself to the Communists' Palmiro Togliatti, scoured the country orating.

In 1951 the Christian Democrats wrested such big cities as Turin,...

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