Democrats of the Left (DS)
formerly (1921–91) Italian Communist Party (1991–98) Democratic Party of the Left

Major Italian political party.

Founded as the Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI) in 1921 by dissidents of the Italian Socialist Party's left wing, it was outlawed with other political parties by Benito Mussolini's fascist government in 1926 and went underground. It participated in the Italian Resistance in World War II. After the war it joined in coalition governments and was consistently successful at the polls. In 1956, after the crimes of Joseph Stalin were revealed, Palmiro Togliatti tried to dissociate the PCI from the Soviet Union. Enrico Berlinguer, as party leader from 1972 to 1984, became the leading proponent of Eurocommunism. In order to consolidate left-wing forces and broaden its base, the party changed its name to Democratic Party of the Left in 1991; it became one of Italy's largest political parties and western Europe's largest communist party. In 1998 it renamed itself Democrats of the Left.

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Universalium. 2010.

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