Today we talk about the old Bot. The certificate of public debt of the Italian state we talk about in our column dates back to July 1, 1956, and was issued with a nominal value of 20 thousand lire with an annuity to 5%, and an annual interest of one thousand lire (its collecting market value is around fifty euro). The origin of the national public debt dates back to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy. With the law n.94 of July 10, 1861, the then Minister of Finance, Count Pietro Bastogi, established in the Great Book of the public debt of the Kingdom of Italy, in which all debts, contracted from the pre-unified states, were noted. The acknowledgement of the debts of the ‘all clear states’ by the ‘new state’, brought the ‘unified public debt’ to a sum of around three million Lire.
This law, wanted by the Count Pietro Bastogi, constituted the first attempt to unify the finances of the newborn Italian State. The Great book of the public debt, in detail, was constituted by a set of registers in which the administration of the public debt expected the registration of the redeemable and not-redeemable loans of the state. The inscription in this register established in a formal and definitive way that the budget of the state contains, in addition to the ordinary expenses, the amounts corresponding to the interests and the bonus inherent the loan. Regarding the registered entries, the Great book of public debt contained the exact heading and the subsequent amendments or transfers to other holders. The inscription or deletion of constraints had to be recorded as well. The matrices from which the securities were removed at the time of issuance were valid for the inscriptions to the bearer. Following the course of the Italian public debt, we can see how it was lower in the postwar years and stabilized around 30% for the whole of the fifties and sixties. From the seventies onwards it began a rapid ascent that continues to this day. In 1956, the year in which the document we are taking care of today was issued, there was the beginning of the so-called Italian “economic miracle” that lasted until 1963. Those were years in which we witnessed a very high growth of income with higher productive investments, monetary stability and balancing of payments. This allowed a rapid industrialization without inflation and deficits in the external accounts. The major impulse to this expansion came from those areas which had reached such a level of technological development and product diversification to make them able to bear the entry of Italy into the Common Market. The industrial sector, in only three years, from 1957 to 1960, recorded an average production increase of 31,4%. Very significant is the increase in production in those areas where large groups prevailed: cars 89%; accuracy mechanics 83%; artificial textile fiber 66,8%. But it should be noted that the “economic miracle” could not have happened without cheap labour. The high level of unemployment in the fifties was in fact the condition because the demand for labor exceeded abundantly the offer, with the predictable consequences in terms of wage growth. In 1956 the President of the Council is the Democrat Antonio Segni who remained in office from July 6, 1955 to May 19, 1957 for a total of 683 days. The President of the Republic is Giovanni Gronchi. But is 1956 the basic year for the world history. Two events which particularly distinguished it ,were the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the crisis of Suez. The outcome of the two crisis’ showed the polarization of the international system around the USA and the URSS and the new course of their relationship. The decision of the new nationalist Egyptian premier Nasser to nationalize the Suez Canal severally damaged the Anglo-French interests, a legacy of their colonial rule in the area. However, their military intervention, which Israel took advantage of to attack Egypt, was stopped and negated by the strong reaction of the Soviet Union, who became a champion of Egypt gaining influence and prestige throughout the Arab world and the same USA, which didn’t permit exceptions to their global leadership on the Western bloc. When the Soviet tanks crushed the Hungarian uprisings in their tracks, the United States didn’t intervene, despite the desperate pleas of the new government headed by Nagy, recognizing in fact the undisputed Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe. So, 1956 can be defined crucial, both for world stability and for Italy, more and more directed on the way of development despite its ongoing internal contradictions and its deep poverty.