Italian Democratic Socialists

Italian Democratic Socialists
Socialisti Democratici Italiani
Secretary Enrico Boselli
Founded 10 May 1998
Dissolved 5 October 2007
Merger of Italian Socialists, Italian Democratic Socialist Party, minor parties
Merged into Italian Socialist Party (2007)
Newspaper Avanti!, MondOperaio
Membership  (2006) 71,783[1]
Ideology Social democracy
Political position Centre-left[2]
National affiliation The Olive Tree (1998–2005)
Rose in the Fist (2005–07)
The Union (2005–07)
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
International affiliation Socialist International
European Parliament group Party of European Socialists

The Italian Democratic Socialists (Italian: Socialisti Democratici Italiani, SDI) was a social-democratic[3] political party in Italy.

Led by Enrico Boselli, the party was the direct continuation of the Italian Socialists, the legal successor of the historical Italian Socialist Party (PSI). On 5 October 2007 the SDI merged with other descendants of the PSI to form the modern-day PSI.


Early years

The SDI was founded in 1998 by the merger of the Italian Socialists (Enrico Boselli, Roberto Villetti and Ottaviano Del Turco), the Italian Democratic Socialist Party (Gian Franco Schietroma and Giorgio Carta), a portion of the Labour Federation, a portion of the Socialist Party (Ugo Intini) and the Socialist League (Claudio Martelli and Bobo Craxi).

In its first appearance on the national stage, the 1999 European Parliament election, the SDI won 2.2% of the votes and two MEPs.

In December 1999, the SDI formed a short-lived centrist alliance called The Clover with the Union for the Republic and Italian Republican Party, which was responsible for the fall of the D'Alema I Cabinet on 18 December 1999.[4]

In 2000, the SDI was originally touted for inclusion in the Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy electoral list, but was rejected by the Christian-inspired parties of the alliance.[5] For the 2001 general election the party finally formed an unusual alliance with the Federation of the Greens known as The Sunflower, which was disbanded soon after the election, due to political divergences and ultimately to the disappointing result they had together: 2.2% of the vote, while the combined result of the two parties in 1999 was 4.0%.

In the 2004 European Parliament election two SDI MEPs were elected on the United in the Olive Tree ticket.

The Rose in the Fist

In 2001 Claudio Martelli and Bobo Craxi left the party in order to form with Gianni De Michelis the New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI) which joined the centre-right House of Freedoms coalition, while Giorgio Carta left in 2004 to re-found the Italian Democratic Socialist Party.

In 2005 SDI entered in alliance with the Italian Radicals, a libertarian party, forming the Rose in the Fist (RnP) electoral list. In 2006 Socialist Unity of Claudio Signorile joined the SDI, while some members of NPSI, as Donato Robilotta, founded the Reformist Socialists and directly joined the Rose in the Fist.

In the 2006 general election the RnP list won only 2.6% of the vote, much less than the combination of the two parties before the alliance (the Radicals alone took 2.3% in the 2004 European Parliament election), as the Radicals lost voters in their strongholds in the North to Forza Italia, while the Socialists lost ground in the South to the The Olive Tree parties (see electoral results of the Rose in the Fist).

The Socialist Party

In April 2007, during a party convention, Enrico Boselli launched the proposal of a "Socialist Constituent Assembly", open to all the Italian social democrats and especially to the remnants of the old PSI, while Ottaviano Del Turco supported the entry of the SDI in the Democratic Party (PD). Boselli was re-elected secretary of the party with 784 votes out of 787 and only 3 abstentions.[6]

In May 2007 Del Turco and his supporters left the SDI and formed the Reformist Alliance, as their political vehicle in order to join the PD. In the meantime several groups, including a large portion of the New Italian Socialist Party, The Italian Socialists, Democracy and Socialism and the Association for the Rose in the Fist, decided to join forces with the SDI. This happened on 5 October 2007, when they were merged into a unified Socialist Party, later renamed the Italian Socialist Party on 7 October 2009 to recall the historical party of the same name.




  2. Maurizio Cotta; Luca Verzichelli (2007). Political Institutions in Italy. Oxford University Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-19-928470-2. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  3. Dimitri Almeida (27 April 2012). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties: Beyond the Permissive Consensus. CRC Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-136-34039-0. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  4. Mark Gilbert; Gianfranco Pasquino (January 2000). Italian Politics: The Faltering Transition. Berghahn Books. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-57181-840-9.
  5. James Newell (16 May 2003). The Italian General Election of 2001: Berlusconi's Victory. Manchester University Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-7190-6100-4. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
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