Thirty-four years ago Enrico Berlinguer, the Last Emperor of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), died. The General Secretary of the biggest communist party in Western Europe – don’t forget he always earned his votes in free and fair elections – distinguished himself for his irreducible ethics as a leader who preferred not to win power for painting his ideal of Eurocommunism, firmly opposing to Soviet repression in Eastern Europe and inspiring from behind the only valuable democratic changes ever happened in Italy. In 1976, before 5,000 Communist delegates at the 25th CPSU Congress in Moscow, in a passionate speech Berlinguer vindicated the right of the Italian Communist Party to be a part of a “pluralistic system”, even arriving to declare – in an interview to Il Corriere della Sera – that he felt “safer under NATO’s umbrella”.
He died six days before Italy’s elections for the European Parliament when, for the first time in Italian history, the PCI won the most votes nationwide. More than a million people attended Enrico Berlinguer’s funeral in Rome on June 13, 1984, making it one of the biggest funerals in Italy’s history.