Giorgio Napolitano
President of Italy
Giorgio Napolitano
Giorgio Napolitano is an Italian politician who has been the 11th President of the Italian Republic since 2006. A long-time member of the Italian Communist Party and later the Democrats of the Left, he served as President of the Chamber of Deputies from 1992 to 1994 and as Minister of the Interior from 1996 to 1998.
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Italy president starts talks to seek way out of political crisis
Yahoo News - 3 months
By Steve Scherer and Francesca Piscioneri ROME (Reuters) - Italy's president began talks with political leaders on Thursday to seek a way out of the political crisis caused by the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Sergio Mattarella, a 75-year-old former politician and constitutional court judge, must decide if someone can lead Italy to elections scheduled for 2018, or whether an interim government should serve until a snap vote can be held in spring. Mattarella, a former Christian Democrat with a less interventionist style than his predecessor Giorgio Napolitano, begins talks with institutional leaders at 6 p.m. (1700 GMT) at the his Quirinal Palace.
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Global markets focus on Italy's change of government - CTV News
Google News - about 3 years
CTV News Global markets focus on Italy's change of government CTV News LONDON -- Markets in Europe were steady as exchanges in Toronto and New York were closed on Monday for holidays. Overseas, investors sought clarity over Italy's political and economic future, now that Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano has asked ... Italian Bonds Advance With Spain's as Renzi Sets Out New AgendaBusinessweek Go-ahead for Renzi to form coalitionThe Australian all 665 news articles »
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President summons center-left's Renzi as Italy seeks new government - about 3 years
ROME (Reuters) - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano summoned Matteo Renzi to a meeting on Monday at which he is expected to ask the center-left leader to form a government that must overhaul one of the most troubled economies in the euro zone.
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Italian President Puts Off Premier Choice as PD Pushes for Renzi - Businessweek
Google News - about 3 years Italian President Puts Off Premier Choice as PD Pushes for Renzi Businessweek Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said he needs more time to choose the next prime minister after two days of talks with parliamentary groups, the biggest of which urged that Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi be named. “It has been an interesting day, full of ... Silvio Berlusconi's back... to broker voting reform: Italy's new PM Matteo Renzi to ...The Independent Italy's president delays choice of new prime Italy's Renzi Close to Prime Minister JobWall Street Journal Business Recorder -Reuters -CTV News all 82 news articles »
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Italy’s Premier Resigns Amid Party Dispute
NYTimes - about 3 years
President Giorgio Napolitano is widely expected to ask Matteo Renzi, the brash young mayor of Florence, to form a new government after the resignation of Prime Minister Enrico Letta.     
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Italian premier quitting after losing key support
San Francisco Chronicle - about 3 years
ROME (AP) — Abandoned by an ambitious party rival, Italian Premier Enrico Letta announced Thursday he is resigning after losing essential support for his battered, 10-month-old coalition government. Hours earlier, Matteo Renzi, the 39-year-old leader of Letta's Democratic Party, rallied party executives to an overwhelming vote for a change of command in the premier's office. President Giorgio Napolitano, who has staunchly opposed calling for new elections, could conceivably ask Letta to try to win a vote of renewed confidence in Parliament to make the legislature, and not the Democratic Party, the arbiter of the premier's fate. Napolitano would likely ask Renzi to try to form a coalition solid enough to command a working majority in Parliament that could quickly enact pressing electoral reform and measures to create jobs, especially with youth unemployment hovering around 40 percent. Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia party is Italy's second-largest party after the Democrats, a ...
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Italian President Napolitano Under Fire Over Monti Appointment
NYTimes - about 3 years
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano faced fierce criticism on Monday over reports that he asked Mario Monti about replacing Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister months before his government fell at the height of the euro zone crisis in 2011.     
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World Briefing: Italy: Toxic Waste Law Enacted
NYTimes - about 3 years
President Giorgio Napolitano signed an emergency law to tackle environmental crimes and the damage produced by the illegal dumping or burning of waste.     
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Obama Meeting With Pope Francis In March
Huffington Post - about 3 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of a European trip scheduled for March. The White House says Obama "looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality" during their March 27 meeting. Obama also plans to meet in Rome with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta. Obama's trip begins March 24-25 in The Hague, Netherlands, where he will participate in a nuclear security summit hosted by the Dutch government and meet with Dutch leaders. On March 26, Obama will travel to Brussels for an U.S.-European Union summit with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, as well as meetings with Belgian leaders and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
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Italian conductor Claudio Abbado dies aged 80
Yahoo News - about 3 years
Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, a former director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, has died aged 80 after a long illness, Milan opera house Teatro alla Scala said on Monday. Called the world's greatest conductor by the Financial Times, Abbado was ceremonially named an Italian Senator for Life by President Giorgio Napolitano last August. Abbado was diagnosed with cancer in 2000, but three years later went on to form the Lucerne orchestra, individually selecting most of the members himself. He succumbed to another bout of illness in May 2010, forcing La Scala to cancel concerts at which he had been due to conduct.
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Italy's top court rules electoral law breaches constitution
Yahoo News - about 3 years
By Valentina Consiglio and Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Italy's electoral law is unconstitutional, its top court ruled on Wednesday, piling pressure on political parties to reform a system blamed for creating parliamentary deadlock. Most politicians agree, at least in public, that the electoral rules which helped produce a hung parliament after February's national vote must change to give Italy a chance of forming a stable government. But despite repeated exhortations from business leaders, union chiefs and President Giorgio Napolitano, progress on voting reform has long been blocked by parties worried that a new system could damage their electoral chances. "Now there is no more room for excuses from anyone, we have to move, quickly, to change the law," said Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, whose breakaway group from Silvio Berlusconi's center-right is a key part of the fragile ruling coalition.
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Giorgio Napolitano
  • 2015
    Napolitano officially resigned on 14 January 2015, after the end of the six month Italian Presidency of the European Union.
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    After a record eight and a half years as president, Napolitano resigned at age 89 in January 2015.
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  • 2014
    On 9 November 2014 the Italian press reported that Napolitano would step down at the end of the year.
    More Details Hide Details The press office of the Quirinale "neither confirmed nor denied" the reports.
    When Letta handed in his resignation on 14 February 2014, Napolitano mandated Matteo Renzi (Letta's factional challenger) to form a new government.
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    On 30 January 2014 the Five Star Movement deposited an impeachment accusing Napolitano of harming the Italian Constitution, to allow unconstitutional laws and in relation of the events State-Mafia negotiation.
    More Details Hide Details The motion was later dismissed.
  • 2013
    He was easily re-elected on 20 April 2013, receiving 738 of the 1007 possible votes, and was sworn in on 22 April 2013 after a speech when he asked for constitutional and electoral reforms.
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    Following five inconclusive ballots for the 2013 presidential election, Napolitano agreed to stand for re-election as President - an unprecedented move - following pleas by Prime Minister Mario Monti and the leaders of the main political blocks, Pier Luigi Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi.
    More Details Hide Details Eventually, Napolitano reluctantly agreed to run for another term in order to safeguard the continuity of the country's institutions.
    Napolitano was reelected on 20 April 2013.
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    When his seven-year presidential term expired in April 2013, Napolitano (then aged 87) reluctantly agreed to stand again, to safeguard the continuity of the country's institutions during the parliamentary deadlock that followed the 2013 general election.
    More Details Hide Details On being reelected as President with broad cross-party support in parliament, he overcame the impasse by inviting Enrico Letta to propose a government in the form of a grand coalition.
  • 2012
    Enrico Letta is the successor of Mario Monti, who resigned on 21 December 2012 but whose government remained in charge for the ordinary administration until 28 April 2013, the day the new government was sworn in.
    More Details Hide Details The Renzi Government was sworn in on 22 February 2014.
  • 2011
    In November 2011, after barely surviving a motion of no confidence in December 2010, Berlusconi resigned from his post as Prime Minister, having lost the trust of the parliament amidst increasingly dramatic financial and economic conditions.
    More Details Hide Details President Napolitano then decided to appoint former EU commissioner Mario Monti as a senator for life, and then as prime minister designate. Monti was subsequently confirmed by an overwhelming majority of both houses of the Italian parliament, in what was widely referred to as a "government of the president". Napolitano's management of the events caused unprecedented worldwide media exposure regarding his role as President of the Italian Republic, a role normally regarded as largely ceremonial.
  • 2009
    On 6 February 2009, President Napolitano refused to sign an emergency decree made by the Berlusconi government in order to suspend a final court sentence allowing suspension of nutrition to 38-year-old coma patient Eluana Englaro; the decree could not be enacted by Berlusconi.
    More Details Hide Details This caused a major political debate within Italy regarding the relationship between the President and the government in office.
  • 2008
    On 7 May 2008, President Napolitano appointed Silvio Berlusconi as Prime Minister, following his landslide victory in the general election.
    More Details Hide Details The cabinet was officially inaugurated one day later, with Berlusconi thus becoming the second Prime Minister under President Napolitano.
  • 2007
    On 21 February 2007, Prime Minister Romano Prodi submitted his resignation after losing a foreign policy vote in the Parliament; Napolitano held talks with the political groups in parliament, and on 24 February rejected the resignation, prompting Prodi to ask for a new vote of confidence.
    More Details Hide Details Prodi won the vote in the upper house on 28 February and in the lower house on 2 March, allowing his cabinet to remain in office. On 24 January 2008, Romano Prodi lost a vote of confidence in the Senate by a vote of 161 to 156 votes, after the UDEUR Populars ended its support for the Prodi-led government. President Napolitano requested that the president of the Senate, Franco Marini, should assess the possibility of forming a caretaker government. On 4 February 2008, Marini acknowledged the impossibility of forming an interim government because the centre-right parties would not join, and on 6 February 2008 Napolitano dissolved the Parliament. Elections were held on 13 and 14 April 2008, together with the administrative elections, and won by a coalition of right-wing and centre-right parties.
  • 2006
    On 26 September 2006, Napolitano made an official visit to Budapest, Hungary, where he paid tribute to the fallen in the 1956 revolution, which he initially opposed as member of the Italian Communist Party, by laying a wreath at Imre Nagy's grave. There was therefore a movement of hate and bloodthirsty fury, and a Slavic annexationist design, which prevailed above all in the peace treaty of 1947, and assumed the sinister shape of "ethnic cleansing".
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    On 9 July 2006, Napolitano was present at the FIFA World Cup final, in which the Italian team defeated France and won its fourth World Cup, and afterwards he joined the players' celebrations.
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    The centre-left majority coalition, on 7 May 2006, officially endorsed Napolitano as its candidate in the presidential election that began on 8 May.
    More Details Hide Details The Vatican endorsed him as President through its official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, just after The Union named him as its candidate, as did Marco Follini, former secretary of the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, a member party of the House of Freedoms. Napolitano was elected on 10 May, in the fourth round of voting — the first of those requiring only an absolute majority, unlike the first three which required two-thirds of the votes — with 543 votes (out of a possible 1009). At the age of 80, he became the first former Communist to become President of Italy, as well as the third Neapolitan after Enrico De Nicola and Giovanni Leone. He came out of retirement to accept. After his election, expressions of esteem toward him personally as regarding his authoritative character as future President of the Italian Republic were made by both members of The Union and of the House of Freedoms (which had turned in blank votes), such as Pier Ferdinando Casini. Nevertheless, some Italian right-wing newspapers, such as il Giornale, expressed concerns about his communist past. He started his term on 15 May.
    In 2006, his name was frequently suggested for the office of President of the Italian Republic.
    More Details Hide Details Napolitano was the second person proposed by the centre-left majority coalition The Union, in place of Massimo D'Alema, after the chance of a joint vote on D'Alema had been rejected by leaders of the centre-right coalition the House of Freedoms. Even though Napolitano appeared at first a candidate that the House of Freedoms could converge on, the proposal was rejected much like that of D'Alema.
    In 2006, when Napolitano was elected President of the Italian Republic, Gardner stated to AP Television News that he considered Napolitano "a real statesman", "a true believer in democracy" and "a friend of the United States who will carry out his office with impartiality and fairness".
    More Details Hide Details Thanks to this role and in part by the good offices of Giulio Andreotti, in the 1980s Napolitano was able to travel to the United States and give lectures at Aspen, Colorado and at Harvard University. He has since visited and lectured in the United States several times.
    In May 2006, he was elected by parliament as President of Italy. During his first term of office, he oversaw governments both of the centre-left, led by Prodi, and the centre-right, led by Silvio Berlusconi. In November 2011, Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister amid financial and economic problems.
    More Details Hide Details Napolitano, in keeping with his constitutional role, then asked former EU commissioner Mario Monti to form a cabinet which was referred to as a "government of the president" by critics.
  • 2005
    In October 2005, he was named senator for life, and was therefore one of the last two to be appointed by President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, together with Sergio Pininfarina.
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    Napolitano was appointed a Senator for life in 2005 by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
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  • 1999
    Napolitano also served a second term as a MEP from 1999 to 2004 as member of the Party of European Socialists.
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  • 1997
    Napolitano has often been cited as the author of a collection of sonnets in Neapolitan language, published under the pseudonym Tommaso Pignatelli, entitled Pe cupià ’o chiarfo ("To mimic the downpour"). He denied this in 1997 and, again, on the occasion of his presidential election, when his staff described the attribution of authorship to Napolitano as a "journalistic myth".
    More Details Hide Details However, he published his first book, entitled Movimento Operaio e Industria di Stato, which can be translated to "Workers' Movement and State Industry" in 1962. During the existence of the Italian Social Republic (1943–1945), a puppet state of Nazi Germany in the final period of World War II, Napolitano and his circle of friends took part in several actions of the Italian resistance movement against German and Italian fascist forces.
  • 1996
    Successively, he served as President of the Chamber of Deputies (1992–1994), and between 1996 and 1998 he was the first former Communist to become Minister of the Interior, a role traditionally occupied by Christian Democrats.
    More Details Hide Details In this capacity, he took part together with fellow lawmaker and Cabinet Minister Livia Turco in drafting the government-sponsored law on immigration control (Legislative Decree No. 40 6 March 1998), better known as the "Turco–Napolitano bill".
  • 1991
    After the dissolution of the Italian Communist Party, in 1991, Napolitano joined the Democratic Party of the Left, later Democrats of the Left.
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    He was an active member of the party until it ended in 1991.
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  • 1982
    He is the second President of the Italian Republic to be present at a FIFA World Cup final won by the Italian team, after Sandro Pertini in 1982.
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  • 1977
    Between 1977 and 1981 Napolitano had some secret meetings with the United States ambassador Richard Gardner, at a time when the PCI was seeking contact with the US administration, in the context of its definitive break with its past relationship with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the beginning of eurocommunism, the attempt to develop a theory and practice more adequate to the democratic countries of Western Europe.
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  • 1963
    Between 1963 and 1966, Napolitano was party chairman in the city of Naples and later, between 1966 and 1969, he was appointed as chairman of the secretary's office and of the political office.
    More Details Hide Details During the 1970s and 1980s Napolitano was in charge for cultural activities, economic policy and the international relations of the party. Napolitano's political thought was somewhat moderate in the context of the PCI: in fact he became the leader of the so-called meliorist wing (corrente migliorista) of the party, whose members notably included Gerardo Chiaromonte and Emanuele Macaluso. The term migliorista (from migliore, Italian for "better") was coined with a slightly mocking intent. To be a betterist was regarded more negatively than to be a reformist by traditional Communists. In the mid-1970s, Napolitano was invited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to give a lecture, but the United States ambassador to Italy, John A. Volpe, refused to grant Napolitano a visa on account of his membership of the PCI.
  • 1956
    He was elected to the National Committee of the party during its eighth national congress in 1956, largely thanks to the support offered by Palmiro Togliatti, who wanted to involve younger politicians in the central direction of the party.
    More Details Hide Details He became responsible for the commission for Southern Italy within the National Committee.
  • 1953
    In 1953 a document of the Italian Ministry of Interior reported Napolitano as a member of the secret armed paramilitary groups of the Communist Party in the city of Rome (so called "Gladio Rossa")
    More Details Hide Details Later on in the same year, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and its military suppression by the Soviet Union occurred. The leadership of the Italian Communist Party labelled the insurgents as counter-revolutionaries, and the official party newspaper L'Unità referred to them as "thugs" and "despicable agents provocateurs". Napolitano complied with the party-sponsored position on this matter, a choice he would repeatedly declare to have become uncomfortable with, developing what his autobiography describes as a "grievous self-critical torment". He would reason that his compliance was motivated by concerns about the role of the Italian Communist Party as "inseparable from the fates of the socialist forces guided by the USSR" as opposed to "imperialist" forces. The decision to support the USSR against the Hungarian revolutionaries generated a split in the Italian Communist Party, and even the CGIL (Italy's largest trade union, then supportive of the PCI) refused to conform to the party-sponsored position and applauded the revolution, on the basis that the eighth national congress of the Italian Communist Party had indeed stated that the "Italian way to socialism" was to be democratic and specific to the nation. These views were supported in the party by Giorgio Amendola, whom Napolitano would always look up to as a teacher. Frequently seen together, Giorgio Amendola and Giorgio Napolitano would jokingly be referred to by friends as (respectively) Giorgio 'o chiatto and Giorgio 'o sicco ("Giorgio the pudgy" and "Giorgio the slim" in the Neapolitan dialect).
    He was first elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1953 for the electoral division of Naples, and was returned at every election until 1996.
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    First elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1953, he took an assiduous interest in parliamentary life, and was President of the Chamber of Deputies from 1992 to 1994.
    More Details Hide Details He was Minister of the Interior from 1996 to 1998 under Romano Prodi.
  • 1947
    President Napolitano's remarks on the foibe massacres were praised by both centre-left and centre-right in Italy, and both coalitions condemned Mesić's statements, while the whole of Croatia stood by Mesić, who later acknowledged that Napolitano didn't want to put in discussion the Peace Treaty of 1947.
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    Another matter of debate in Croatia was that the Italian President made awards to relatives of 25 foibe victims, who included the last fascist Italian prefect in Zadar, Vincenzo Serrentino, who was sentenced to death in 1947 in Šibenik.
    More Details Hide Details That was seen by Mesić as "historic revisionism" and open support for revanchism.
  • 1946
    He became a member of the Secretariat of the Italian Economic Centre for Southern Italy in 1946, which was represented by Senator Paratore, where he remained for two years.
    More Details Hide Details Napolitano played a major role in the Movement for the Rebirth of Southern Italy for over ten years.
  • 1945
    Following the end of the war in 1945, Napolitano joined the Italian Communist Party (PCI).
    More Details Hide Details In 1947, he graduated in jurisprudence with a final dissertation on political economy, entitled Il mancato sviluppo industriale del Mezzogiorno dopo l'unità e la legge speciale per Napoli del 1904 ("The lack of industrial development in the Mezzogiorno following the unification of Italy and the special law of 1904 for Naples").
  • 1942
    In 1942, he matriculated at the University of Naples Federico II.
    More Details Hide Details He adhered to the local University Fascist Youth ("Gioventù Universitaria Fascista"), where he met his core group of friends, who shared his opposition to Italian fascism. As he would later state, the group "was in fact a true breeding ground of anti-fascist intellectual energies, disguised and to a certain extent tolerated". A theatre enthusiast since high school, during his university years he contributed a theatrical review to the IX Maggio weekly magazine, and had small parts in plays organized by the Gioventù Universitaria Fascista itself. He played in a comedy by Salvatore Di Giacomo at Teatro Mercadante in Naples. Napolitano dreamed of being an actor and spent his early years performing in several productions at the Teatro Mercadante.
  • 1925
    Giorgio Napolitano was born in Naples, Italy, in 1925.
    More Details Hide Details His father Giovanni was a liberal lawyer.
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