For both altruistic and self-serving purposes, the United States provides massive grants of aid to the countries of Europe in the form of the Marshall Plan. Stalin, concerned that the intent of the Marshall Plan is to weaken Soviet influence in Europe, prevents countries in its orbit from participating, and establishes the rival Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Communists come to power through a coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948. Tito, while originally aligned to the Soviet Union, adopts a more independent foreign policy and eventually switches to receiving Marshall Aid Assistance. The CIA and the Catholic Church conspire to help oust the Italian Communist Party and its coalition allies in the 1948 Italian election. The Marshall Plan has the effect of modernising European economies and societies, bringing Western Europe closer together, and closer to the United States. Interviewees include Vladimir Yerofeyev, Gianni Agnelli and Giulio Andreotti. The pre-credits scene portrays the squalor in post-war Italy, and Truman delivering his Truman Doctrine speech of 1947.