The Political Landscape in the FTT during the Fifties

There were two parties whose policies could be said to be middle of the road and whose members aroused no security concerns. They were the DC (Democrazia Cristiana) and the FI (the Fronte dell' Indipendenza per il Libero Stato Giuliano) the Independence Front.

The Christian Democrat Party was the dominant force in Italy after the war and were supported by the Allies as a buffer against Palmiro Togliatti's Communist Party.

The Independence Front was formed in the early years of the 20th century when the area was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The party was based on the belief that the whole area should be autonomous and neutral. The ideas of its founders were expressed in the newspaper, Il Corriere di Trieste, an admirable newspaper whose standards of journalism were extremely high.


There were two communist parties in Trieste after 1948, the date of Tito's breaking away from the Stalinist Cominform. The original PCTLT had been the single Communist Party in the free territory but, after the split, it formed two wings which then became two separate parties Although they were confused in the minds of some, the two parties were (sometimes violently) hostile to each other..

The pro-Cominform PCI (Partito Communista d Italiana), loyal to the Italian Communist leader, Palmiro Togliatti, was led in Trieste by Vittorio Vidali, a former Comintern agent. The pro-Tito PCTLT (Partito Communista del Territorio Libero di Trieste) was led by Branko Babic, a former Partisan and was in favour of both Zone A and Zone B going to Jugoslavia.
The hostility between the two was useful since each was very willing to inform on the activities of the other and each had many informers embedded in the other. Of the two the PCI was the more tractable but the PCTLT, containing many ex-partisans, had a para-military wing and needed watching.
At the other extreme, the MSI (Movimento Socialisto Italiano) the neo Fascist party also had a para-military wing and tried to hi-jack any local demonstrations. They were behind the riots of November 1953 which led to bloodshed. They had also been penetrated by opponents and their security was very leaky.

There was never any shortage of people willing to pass on information about any of these parties; the problem lay in evaluating it. This required shemes for evaluating the reliablity of each informant and one for evaluating the worth of any piece of “intelligence”.This required shemes for evaluating the reliablity of each informant and one for evaluating the worth of any piece of “intelligence”.