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Russia | The Guardian: Revealed: the secret British plan to keep Italy’s communists from power

Newly declassified files expose the Foreign Office’s dirty tricks campaign to influence the knife-edge 1976 election result

On 7 June 1976, the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Panorama reported on the forthcoming Italian general election. Two weeks before the poll, the Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI) – the largest communist party in Europe – stood “on the threshold of power”.

Introducing the first foreign television interview with the then PCI leader, Enrico Berlinguer, David Dimbleby stood in front of a picture of Berlinguer captioned “Would you trust this man?” Highlighting the consequences of a PCI victory, Dimbleby informed BBC viewers that if Italy voted the party in, “the ripples will spread far beyond Italy itself”.

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Russia | The Guardian

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