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The peasants who remained on the land became more commercialised, selling their THE ECONOMIC MIRACLE 33 wine and olive oil more systematically - in fact they often became part of the working of a new concern: almost certainly their land was bought up by one when they died. Poor land at any altitude, most often in Umbria, was simply deserted; probably the peasants who had worked it went into industry without feeling that they had lost their roots if the industry was local. A beautiful old Tuscan hill-town like Cortona, which in spite of its Communist mayors had failed to found industry on any scale, seemed to die on its feet.

For some time Nenni had shown himself to be not impervious to a formulation of this kind. The reforms envisaged would be based upon the idea of national planning, first publicly, indeed officially, formulated earlier in this same year by Ezio Vanoni, Minister of the Budget in the Cabinet of the conservative Christian Democrat, Mario Scelba. The Liberals in this Government, led by an able and upright politician called Giovanni Malagodi, objected to Vanoni's approach. Malagodi was in fact the ally of the industrialists who so bitterly criticised Enrico Mattei's activities.

As the chief of ENI, Mattei extended his activities and his power. ENI became in fact a huge holding company operating largely through other mixed holding companies. Among these AGIP was still to be found, soon to be joined by AGIP Nucleare, responsible for work on nuclear energy. ENI, in addition to its propagation of methane and other natural gases through its offshoot SNAM, mined, drilled for oil, refined and distributed it, and conducted research; it also sold hydro-chemicals, textiles and heavy machines.

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