Background and Origins of the 1950 Reforms for Southern Italy - In the difficult situation Italy - and above all the south of the country - was facing in the post-war period, the idea of an extraordinary plan for public intervention to favour development in the "Mezzogiorno" was conceived when prospects opened up for Italy to obtain a loan from the World Bank for purposes other than the import of food and raw materials for the recovery of the northern industry left unscathed by the war. The original project, which De Gasperi entrusted to Donato Me n i c h e l l a and Francesco Giordani, established that the ten-year intervention plan would be carried out with the help of an administrative tool (the "Cassa per il
Mezzogiorno" ) empowered with considerable autonomy and modelled not so much on the Am e r i c a n Tennessee Valley Authority as on the example of the public bodies recourse had been made to since the times of Giolitti, and subsequently during the Fascist period to safeguard the growing responsibilities of public intervention in the economy from the juridical and financial rigidities of ministerial bureaucracy. However, on exami -
nation by the government and parliament the autonomy provided for in the original project was whittled down to bring it into line with the control requirements of parliamentary democracy.