The analysis of the relations between Spain and Italy in the Sixties is interesting as a case study of the coexistence between dictatorship and democracy in contemporary world. These relations were often dictated by Realpolitik and the prevalence of geo-strategic or economic interests, but also by cultural and ideological factors. In an attempt to normalize its existence and portray itself to the international public opinion as a state of law, the Franco regime threatened Italian economic interests in Spain and it even resorted to secret funding to the Msi, the conservative press and some journalists. Alfredo Sánchez Bella, Spanish Ambassador in the Italian Republic from November 1962 to November 1969, had to mitigate the negative effects of Franco’s repressive policy in Italy’s public opinion and face the mobilization of increasingly larger sectors of Italian society, coming from left wing organizations, but also from the deeply divided Catholic world. This case of Spanish- Italian relations proved the capacity of action of social actors in modern states and the effectiveness of their collective mobilization.
Keywords: Italian Republic, Franco’s dictatorship, Spanish diplomacy, Alfredo Sánchez Bella, MSI, anti-Francoism