Fuel for the Fire- Corruption and the End of the First Republic [BLOG POST 2]

The Plague of Populism

By Jacob Braun

Former Italian Prime Minister Benedetto Craxi, Unknown Author, via WikiMedia Commons Public Domain

For the first time since the Second World War, a Socialist Party in Italy came to power with Benedetto “Bettino” Craxi as its Prime Minister in 1983. With promises of reform and continued efforts to improve the economy from a devastating recession, the situation in Italy seemed to be getting better as the Years of Lead came to a close. Corruption and scandal would rock the Craxi government, putting an end to the First Republic and giving rise to a new, populist type of politician.


Under the Craxi government, Italian inflation rates would drastically be reduced in tandem with the reduction of the indexation of wages. However, the growth of the economy spurred on by this change would incur unsustainable fiscal deficits, plunging Italy into a long-lasting cycle of debt…

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