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Mani pulite

Mani pulite (pronounced , Italian for "clean hands") was a nationwide judicial investigation into political corruption in Italy held in the 1990s. Mani pulite led to the demise of the so-called "First Republic", resulting in the disappearance of many political parties. Some politicians and industry leaders committed suicide after their crimes were exposed. Antonio Di Pietro was the main judicial figure in charge of the operation.

In some accounts, as many as 5,000 public figures fell under suspicion. At one point, more than half of the members of the Italian Parliament were under indictment. More than 400 city and town councils were dissolved because of corruption charges. The estimated value of bribes paid annually in the 1980s by Italian and foreign companies bidding for large government contracts reached 4 billion dollars (6.5 trillion lire).[1]

The corrupt system uncovered by these investigations was usually referred to as Tangentopoli (Italian pronunciation: ).[2] The term derives from tangente, which means kickback and in this context refers to kickbacks given for public works contracts,[1] and poli meaning city;[3] it is thus sometimes translated as "Bribesville" or "Kickback City."

Arrest of Mario Chiesa

Tangentopoli began on 17 February 1992 when judge Antonio Di Pietro had Mario Chiesa, a member of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), arrested for accepting a bribe from a Milan cleaning firm. The PSI distanced themselves from Chiesa, with PSI leader Bettino Craxi calling him mariuolo, or "villain", a "wild splinter" of the otherwise clean party. Upset over this treatment by his former colleagues, Chiesa began to give information about corruption implicating them. This marked the beginning of the mani pulite investigation; news of political corruption began spreading in the press.

Extension of anti-corruption investigations

In the 1992 elections, the centre-right Christian Democracy (DC) held on to power when its coalition government kept a small majority, while leftist opposition parties gained support. However, the Italian Communist Party split after the fall of the Soviet Union, depriving the opposition of leadership. Many votes went to the far-right Lega Nord, which was not inclined to form alliances with other parties at the time. The resulting parliament was therefore weak and difficult to bring to an agreement.

During April 1992, many industrial figures and politicians from both the government and the opposition were arrested on charges of corruption. While the investigations started in Milan, they quickly spread to other towns as more politicians confessed. One grotesque situation occurred when a Socialist politician immediately confessed to all of his crimes to two Carabinieri who had come to his house, only to later discover that they had come to deliver a mere fine for a traffic violation.

Fundamental to this increased exposure was the general attitude of the main politicians to drop support for subordinates who got caught; this made many of them feel betrayed, and they often implicated many other figures, who in turn would implicate even more. On 2 September 1992, the Socialist politician Sergio Moroni, charged with corruption, committed suicide. He left a letter pleading guilty, declaring that crimes were not for his personal gain but for the party's benefit, and accused the financing system of all the political parties.

Effect on national politics

In the local December elections, DC lost half of their votes. The day after that, Bettino Craxi, leader of the Italian Socialist Party, was officially accused of corruption. After many other politicians were accused and jailed, Craxi eventually resigned.

On 5 March 1993, the Italian government of Giuliano Amato and his justice minister Giovanni Conso tried to find a solution with a decree, which allowed criminal charges for several bribery-related crimes to be replaced by administrative charges instead; according to Italian popular opinion at the time, that would have resulted in a de facto amnesty for most corruption charges. Amid public outrage and nationwide rallies, the Italian president of the Republic Oscar Luigi Scalfaro refused to sign the decree, deeming it unconstitutional. The following week, a US$250 million affair involving Eni, the government-controlled national energy company, was revealed. The stream of accusation, jailing and confessions continued.

On 25 March 1993, the Italian parliament changed the municipal electoral law in favor of a majoritarian system. Later, on 18 April, the public overwhelmingly backed the abrogation of the existing proportional representation parliamentary electoral law in a referendum (a mixed system was introduced that August), causing Amato to resign three days later. Still shocked by the recent events, the Parliament was unable to produce a new government. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, former governor of the national bank, was appointed head of the government and appointed a technical government without political influences. In the meantime, the investigation of Craxi was blocked by the parliament. Several members of the government, having been in office just three days, resigned in protest; among them were Francesco Rutelli, Minister of the Environment and Vincenzo Visco, Minister of Finance. In new local elections on 6 June 1993, DC lost half of its votes once again; the Socialist Party virtually disappeared. Instead Lega Nord, a protest movement with some ideological elements ranging from xenophobia and racism to independence from the rest of Italy and a general loathing of the political system, became the strongest political force in Northern Italy. The left-wing opposition was approaching majority, but still lacked unity and leadership.

Eventually, all four parties in government in 1992 disappeared, at different times in different ways: the Christian Democracy, the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Socialist Democratic Party, and the Italian Liberal Party. The Democratic Party of the Left, the Italian Republican Party and the Movimento Sociale Italiano were the only surviving national parties; the Republican party is the only one that has maintained its name since.

According to the American ambassador Reginald Bartholomew, behind the operation there was the CIA who helped the Italian prosecutors to accuse the politicians.[4] [5] [6]

The Cusani trial

On 20 July 1993, the former Eni president, Gabriele Cagliari, committed suicide in jail. His wife later gave back $3 million of illegal funds.

Meanwhile, the trial of Sergio Cusani began. Mr. Cusani was accused of crimes connected to a joint venture between Eni and Montedison, named Enimont. It was broadcast on national television, and was a sort of showcase of the old politics being brought to their responsibilities. While Cusani himself was not a major figure, the connection of his crimes to the Enimont affair called in all the nation's major politicians as witnesses.

A high note was reached in the Cusani trial when former head of government Arnaldo Forlani, answering a question, simply said "I don't remember"; he also happened to be very nervous and did not notice that sweat was accumulating on his lips, and that image was by many considered symbolic of the people's disgust for the corruption system. Bettino Craxi, instead, admitted that his party received $93 million of illegal funds. His defense was that "everyone was doing this" anyway.

Even the Lega Nord was implicated in the trial; secretary Umberto Bossi and former treasurer Alessandro Patelli were convicted for receiving 200 million lire of illegal funding (approx. $100,000 at the time).

A bribe to the Italian Communist Party was alleged, but it was not established who had committed the offence. A number of Milanese members of the Democratic Party of the Left were charged with corruption during their time as members of the PCI but they were acquitted. As prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro stated, "Penal responsibility is personal. I cannot bring here a person with the first name Communist and last name Party". (La responsabilità penale è personale, non posso portare in giudizio una persona che si chiami Partito di nome e Comunista di cognome.)

The Enimont trial itself was carried out after the Cusani trial, with much less public interest.

Investigations on other fronts

In the meantime, the investigation expanded outside the political range: on 2 September 1993 the Milan judge Diego Curtò was arrested. On 21 April 1994, 80 financial policemen and 300 industry personalities were charged with corruption. A few days later, the secretary of the large Fiat corporation admitted corruption with a letter to a newspaper.

In 1994, Silvio Berlusconi entered politics by storm and won the elections. Many think that this move was to preserve his many industries from possible corruption charges. This suspicion was reinforced on 11 February, when Silvio Berlusconi's brother, Paolo, admitted to corruption crimes. On 13 July 1994, the Berlusconi government made a new law to avoid jail time for most corruption crimes.

The law was carefully timed as Italy had defeated Bulgaria in the 1994 Football World Cup's semifinals, and it is likely that the government expected to exploit an eventual victory to pass the law under silence in a football-crazy country. However, as Roberto Baggio shot high the last penalty against Brazil, and the news was showing images of hated, corrupt politicians getting out of jail, the public opinion became enraged; the images of Francesco De Lorenzo, former minister of Health, were especially striking, since the general public perceived stealing money from hospitals an especially hateful act.

Just a few days before, the arrested policemen had been talking about corruption in the Fininvest media industry, the biggest Berlusconi family property. Most of the Mani pulite investigation pool declared that they would respect the state's laws, but they could not work in a situation where duty and conscience were to conflict: they requested therefore to be reassigned to other duties.

Since the government could not afford to be seen as an adversary of the popular judge pool, the decree was hastily revoked and marked a "misunderstanding"; minister for internal affairs Roberto Maroni from Lega Nord claimed that he had not even had the chance to read it. While the minister of Justice was Alfredo Biondi, allegations that Cesare Previti, a lawyer from Berlusconi's company Fininvest, had written it, are at least credible.

On 29 July Berlusconi's brother was again arrested and immediately released.

Escalating conflict between Silvio Berlusconi and Antonio Di Pietro

At this point there began what has been described by many as the "Berlusconi-Di Pietro battle". While Berlusconi's industries were being investigated, "inspectors" were sent from the government to the Milanese judges' office to look for formal irregularities. None were ever found, but this tactic, coupled with Berlusconi's firm grip on the information system, helped spread what is described in other environments as FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). The battle ended without winners: on 6 December Di Pietro resigned. Two weeks later, the Berlusconi government resigned before a critical confidence vote in Parliament, which was generally expected to go against them.

During 1995, many investigations were started against Antonio Di Pietro, who would years later be cleared of all charges, while Silvio Berlusconi incurred other charges of corruption. It was later found that the main prosecutor of Antonio Di Pietro in these times, Fabio Salamone from Brescia, was the brother of a man that Antonio Di Pietro himself had prosecuted, and who was sentenced to 18 months of jail for various corruption charges. It took however some time before the authorities realized this and ordered Salamone to other duties even though his investigations had taken a completely different direction: Paolo Berlusconi (Silvio's brother) and Cesare Previti (former minister) were accused of a conspiracy against Di Pietro but the prosecutor who later replaced Salamone asked for their acquittal and so did the court.

After being cleared, Antonio Di Pietro went into politics, something he had previously ruled out on the grounds that he did not want to exploit the popularity gained doing what he perceived to be just his duty. His movement is named Italia dei Valori ("Italy of values").

In 1998, Cesare Previti, former manager of Fininvest and then sitting in parliament after the Berlusconi government, avoided jailing thanks to parliamentary intervention, even though Berlusconi and his allies were in opposition. Bettino Craxi was sentenced to several years cumulative jail time in definitive convictions and fled to Tunisia, where he remained until his death on 19 January 2000.

Statutory term strategy

After 1994, the danger of trials being cancelled due to the expiration of statutory terms was becoming very real. This was clear to the judges and to the politicians, and the latter ones (with no distinction between Berlusconi's coalition and the Olive Tree, especially under the leadership of Massimo D'Alema) either ignored the pleas of the judiciary system for more funding to buy equipment, or passed laws that made the notoriously slow Italian trials even slower and subject to earlier prescription.

Furthermore, the intricate nature of Italian laws allowed cunning lawyers to use many delaying tactics: an instructive example was a prosecution of Silvio Berlusconi, where he was accused of misappropriation of funds of his own company, Fininvest, in order to prepare black funds that could have been used for bribes or other illegitimate purposes; on the last possible day, a lawyer from Fininvest appeared in court and complained that his company had not been formally notified of the trial. While this trial was well publicized in the media (and also in Fininvest's media themselves), the formality forced the trial to be restarted from scratch, and Berlusconi was finally acquitted by expiration of statutory terms. Being acquitted in this first trial, he could later benefit from a general reduction of terms for other trials, which in turn expired earlier with a domino effect.

After Silvio Berlusconi's victory in 2001, public opinion had turned so far against judges, where it is not only openly acceptable to criticize judges for having carried out Mani pulite, but also increasingly difficult to broadcast opinions favorable to Milan's pool. Some blame Berlusconi's power in media as having played a role in this change or the inability of the opposite parties to gain the consent of the conservative electors. Even Umberto Bossi, whose Lega Nord has been an opposition party became highly critical of judges.


The term lottizzazione, meaning the way a terrain is divided up in minor parts or lotti, came to indicate the procedure of awarding top positions in important state conglomerates such as IRI, ENEL or ENI to political figures, or at least managers with a clear political orientation. This usually trickled down to lower levels, creating power centres depending on political parties that controlled a significant part of the production system. The available seats were usually awarded so that government parties (and opposition parties like the Italian Communist Party) would get a share of power corresponding to their perceived influence in the government.

In modern culture

In 2005, artist Gianni Motti created a piece of soap, named Mani Pulite, based on the scandal. This piece was claimed to have been created out of the fat from a liposuction of Silvio Berlusconi. It was sold at the 36th edition of Art Basel for 15,000 euros.[7]

A 2015 television series titled 1992 is based on the events of mani pulite.[8]

See also
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A snowclone is a cliché and phrasal template that can be used and recognized in multiple variants. The term was coined as a neologism in 2004, derived from journalistic clichés that referred to the number of Eskimo words for snow. History and derivation The linguistic phenomenon of "a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different variants" was originally described by linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum in 2003. Pullum later described snowclones as "some-assembly-required adaptable cliché frames for lazy journalists." In an October 2003 post on Language Log, a collaborative blog by several linguistics professors, Pullum solicited ideas for what the then-unnamed phenomenon should be called. In response to the request, the word "snowclone" was coined by Glen Whitman on January 15, 2004, and Pullum endorsed it as a term of art the next day. The term was derived by Whitman from journalistic clichés which referr ...more...

The Best of Youth


The Best of Youth (Italian: La meglio gioventù), is a 2003 Italian film directed by Marco Tullio Giordana. Originally planned as a four-part mini-series, it was presented at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Un Certain Regard award. It was then given a theatrical release in Italy in two three-hour parts in which 40 minutes were edited out. The complete version was aired in Italy from December 7 to 15, 2003 on Rai Uno in four parts. In the U. S., the film was screened in several cities in two three-hour parts. The two-disc DVD of the film is similarly divided. Giordana, who directed a film about the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of poet and director Pier Paolo Pasolini, again paid tribute to the director in this film, as its title comes from a Pasolini poem. The film falls within the tradition of several Italian films that cover expansive times of Italian history through the story of one family, such as Rocco and His Brothers and The Leopard. Plot The Best of Youth is a famil ...more...

S.P.Q.R.: 2,000 and a Half Years Ago


S.P.Q.R.: 2,000 and a Half Years Ago ( Italian : S.P.Q.R. - 2000 e ½ anni fa ) is a 1994 Italian comedy film directed by Carlo Vanzina and starring Leslie Nielsen . Plot In 71 BC in Rome , utter disorder reigns in the form of political corruption and bribery involving the senator Cynic ( Leslie Nielsen ). The situation is claimed to be similar to the "Tangentopoli" situation in Italy in the 1990s: one of the politicians involved was Bettino Craxi . Senator Caesar Atticus ( Christian De Sica ) is one of many to support the cruel and petty projects of Cynic, but the pair's reign does not last long, as the city sees the arrival of the prefect of Mediolanum ( Milan ) Antonio Servilio ( Massimo Boldi ). These claims that the law is deeply respected by everyone, and being part of the party of "Padania" ( Northern Italy ), considered as a real League's most political of Rome real arrant thieves. Caesar strives to break free from the hassles of Antonio, who initially proves to be a fiasco as an administrator of justi ...more...

Mino Martinazzoli


Fermo Mino Martinazzoli (Italian pronunciation: ; Orzinuovi, 3 November 1931 – Brescia, 4 September 2011 ) was an Italian lawyer, politician and former Minister. He was the last secretary of the Christian Democracy (Democrazia Cristiana, DC) party and the first secretary of the Italian People's Party (Partito Popolare) founded in 1994. Career Martinazzoli studied at Collegio Borromeo in Pavia, where he received a law degree. He then became a lawyer. In the years 1960–1970s he assumed official roles in Brescia's DC, and became president of the province (1970–1972). He was also elected in the Italian Senate, after which he became Minister of Justice in 1983, a position he held for three years. In 1986–1989 he was president of DC's deputies. In 1989–1990 he was Minister of Defence, but resigned (together with other ministers of DC's left wing) after the approval of a law which strengthened Silvio Berlusconi's monopoly over private TV channels in Italy. In 1992, when Democrazia Cristiana was being wiped out b ...more...

Party system


A party system is a concept in comparative political science concerning the system of government by political parties in a democratic country. The idea is that political parties have basic similarities: they control the government, have a stable base of mass popular support, and create internal mechanisms for controlling funding, information and nominations. The concept was originated by European scholars studying the United States, especially James Bryce and Moisey Ostrogorsky, and has been expanded to cover other democracies. Giovanni Sartori devised the most widely used classification method for party systems. He suggested that party systems should be classified by the number of relevant parties and the degree of fragmentation. Party systems can be distinguished by the effective number of parties. Types of party systems Dominant-party system: a system where there is "a category of parties/political organizations that have successively won election victories and whose future defeat cannot be envisaged o ...more...



Milan (English: or ; Italian: Milano  ( listen); Lombard: Milan (Milanese variant)) is the capital of Lombardy and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,365,156 while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,234,000. Its continuously built-up urban area (that stretches beyond the boundaries of the Metropolitan City of Milan) has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres (730 square miles), ranking 4th in the European Union. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the middle and early modern age. Milan is considered a leading alpha global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, ...more...

Giorgio Napolitano


Giorgio Napolitano, OMRI (Italian: ; born 29 June 1925) is an Italian politician who was the 11th President of the Republic from 2006 to 2015, the only Italian President to be reelected to the Presidency. Due to his dominant position in Italian politics, critics often refer to him as Re Giorgio ("King George"). He is the longest serving President in the history of the modern Italian Republic, which has been in existence since 1946. Although the presidency is a nonpartisan office as guarantor of Italy's Constitution, Napolitano was a longtime member of the Italian Communist Party (and of its post-Communist social democratic successors, from the Democratic Party of the Left onwards). He was a leading member of a modernizing faction on the right of the party. 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. He was Minister of the Interior from 1996 to 1998 under Romano Prodi. Napolitano was appo ...more...

Benedetto Santapaola


Benedetto Santapaola (born June 4, 1938), better known as Nitto is a prominent mafioso from Catania, the main city and industrial centre on Sicily's east coast. His nickname is il cacciatore (the hunter), because of his passion for shooting game. He is currently in jail serving several life sentences. Early years Nitto Santapaola was born in the degraded neighbourhood of San Cristoforo, in Catania, into a poor family together with his brothers Salvatore, Antonino, Natale and numerous cousins, such as the Ferrera clan, the Ercolano clan and the Romeo clan, all members or associates of Cosa Nostra, and the future nucleus of the Santapaola-Ercolano Mafia family. At the beginning of the 1960s, Santapaola was introduced by his cousin Francesco Ferrera into the largest Mafia family of Catania, at the time under the command of Giuseppe Calderone. Santapaola’s first denunciation was in 1962 for theft and criminal conspiracy. In 1970 he was sent into internal exile and in 1975 he was denounced for cigarette smuggl ...more...



Bribery is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behavior (to the benefit/interest of the giver) that the recipient would otherwise not alter. Bribery is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty. Gifts of money or other items of value which are otherwise available to everyone on an equivalent basis, and not for dishonest purposes, is not bribery. Offering a discount or a refund to all purchasers is a legal rebate and is not bribery. For example, it is legal for an employee of a Public Utilities Commission involved in electric rate regulation to accept a rebate on electric service that reduces their cost for electricity, when the rebate is available to other residential electric customers. Giving the rebate to influence them to look favorably on the electric utility's rate increase ...more...

Aldo Brancher


Aldo Brancher (born 30 May 1943; Trichiana, Veneto) is an Italian politician. He served as a minister without portfolio in the Government of Silvio Berlusconi for 17 days in June/July 2010, but was forced to resign due to a pending court case. Early career Before his political career, Brancher was a Pauline priest. He was a key figure in the publication of the Paulines' magazine, Famiglia Cristiana. After leaving the priesthood, he worked for Berlusconi's advertising house, Publitalia '80, before moving on to Berlusconi's holding company, Fininvest. In 1993, while working for Fininvest, Brancher was caught up in the Tangentopoli political corruption scandal. He served three months in San Vittore prison for false accounting and for illegally funding the Italian Socialist Party, but was released on a technicality following a ruling by the Court of Cassation. Political career Brancher was elected to the 14th legislature of the Italian Chamber of Deputies in May 2001 and was re-elected in April 2006 and Apr ...more...

Cordon sanitaire


Look up cordon sanitaire in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Cordon sanitaire (French pronunciation: ​) is a French phrase that, literally translated, means "sanitary cordon". It originally denoted a barrier implemented to stop the spread of infectious diseases. It may be used interchangeably with the term "quarantine", and although the terms are related, cordon sanitaire refers to the restriction of movement of people within a defined geographic area, such as a community. The term is also often used metaphorically, in English, to refer to attempts to prevent the spread of an ideology deemed unwanted or dangerous, such as the containment policy adopted by George F. Kennan against the Soviet Union. For disease A cordon sanitaire is generally created around an area experiencing an epidemic or an outbreak of infectious disease, or along the border between two nations. Once the cordon is established, people from the affected area are no longer allowed to leave or enter it. In the most extreme form, the cordon ...more...

Politics of Italy


Politics of Italy is conducted through a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system. Italy has been a democratic republic since 2 June 1946, when the monarchy was abolished by popular referendum and a constituent assembly was elected to draft a constitution, which was promulgated on 1 January 1948. The executive power is exercised collectively by the Council of Ministers, which is led by the Prime Minister, officially referred to as President of the Council (Presidente del Consiglio). Legislative power is vested in the two houses of the Italian Parliament primarily, and secondarily on the Council of Ministers, which can introduce bills and holds the majority in both houses. The judiciary of Italy is independent of the executive and the legislative branches. It is headed by the High Council of the Judiciary, a body presided over by the President of Italy, who is the head of state though his position is separate from all branches. The current Italian President is Sergio Mattarella and the current Prime M ...more...

Italian Liberal Party


The Italian Liberal Party ( Italian : Partito Liberale Italiano , PLI ) was a liberal and conservative political party in Italy . The PLI, which is the heir of the liberal currents of both the Historical Right and the Historical Left , was a minor party after World War II , but also a frequent junior party in government, especially since 1979. History Origins The origins of liberalism in Italy are in the Historical Right , a parliamentary group formed by Camillo Benso di Cavour in the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia following the 1848 revolution . The group was moderately conservative and supported centralised government, restricted suffrage , regressive taxation , and free trade . They dominated politics following Italian unification in 1861 but never formed a party, basing their power on census suffrage and first-past-the-post voting system. The Right was opposed by the more progressive Historical Left , which overthrew Marco Minghetti 's government during the so-called "Parliamentary Revolution" of 1 ...more...

David Riondino


David Riondino (born 10 June 1952) is an Italian actor, singer-songwriter, comedian, writer, playwright, screenwriter, director and composer. Life and career Born in Florence , the son of a teacher, Riondino started his career in the mid-1970s as a member of the musical ensamble Collettivo Victor Jara. In 1979 he made his solo debut with the album David Riondino, and the same year he was the opening act in a series of concerts by Fabrizio De André and Premiata Forneria Marconi . In 1980, following his second album, Boulevard, with arrangements by Shel Shapiro , he focused on his live activity, where he mixed improvisation, music and cabaret. Starting from the second half of the 1980s Riondino enjoyed a large success thanks to the semi-regular participation to the Canale 5 show Maurizio Costanzo Show , where he used to improvise surreal songs imitating the style of the Brazilian singer-songwriters. In 1987 he released his third album Tango dei miracoli , whose booklet was illustrated by Milo Manara . Ri ...more...

Democratic Party (Italy)


The Democratic Party (Italian: Partito Democratico, PD) is a social-democratic political party in Italy. The party's latest secretary is Matteo Renzi, who was first elected in the 2013 leadership election and re-elected in the 2017 leadership election. Renzi resigned after the party's defeat in the 2018 general election and the party is headed toward a new leadership election. Maurizio Martina serves as deputy secretary, while Matteo Orfini is the party's president. The PD was founded on 14 October 2007 upon the merger of various centre-left parties which had been part of The Olive Tree list and The Union coalition in the 2006 general election. They notably included: the social-democratic Democrats of the Left (DS), successors of the Italian Communist Party and the Democratic Party of the Left, which was folded with several social-democratic parties (Labour Federation, Social Christians, etc.) in 1998; and the largely Catholic-inspired Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (DL), merger of the Italian People's Pa ...more...

Vittorio Sgarbi


Vittorio Umberto Antonio Maria Sgarbi (born 8 May 1952 in Ferrara ) is an Italian art critic , art historian, politician, cultural commentator and television personality. In 1996 he was condemned for fraud against the Italian State and in 2012 he ceased to be Mayor of Salemi because of Mafia infiltration. He was appointed curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale . Several times a member of the Italian Parliament , he served also in Milan 's municipal government. Biography His Sgarbi Quotidiani (Daily Sgarbi) TV show during the 1990s was a 15-minute daily discussion of current events. During some of those shows he furiously attacked some Italian judges during the Tangentopoli corruption scandal. This scandal led to great turmoil in Italian politics, with the fall of many traditional parties and the subsequent rise of Silvio Berlusconi , subsequently himself convicted of tax fraud. Sgarbi attacked the use of preventive detention in prison; he declared that many people had been arrested with ...more...

Dario Fo


Dario Fo ( Italian pronunciation:  ; 24 March 1926 – 13 October 2016) was an Italian actor– playwright , comedian, singer, theatre director , stage designer , songwriter, painter, political campaigner for the Italian left-wing and the recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature . In his time he was "arguably the most widely performed contemporary playwright in world theatre". Much of his dramatic work depends on improvisation and comprises the recovery of "illegitimate" forms of theatre, such as those performed by giullari (medieval strolling players) and, more famously, the ancient Italian style of commedia dell'arte . His plays have been translated into 30 languages and performed across the world, including in Argentina , Chile , Iran , the Netherlands , Poland , Romania , South Africa , South Korea , Spain , Sri Lanka Sweden, the UK and Yugoslavia . His work of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s is peppered with criticisms of assassinations, corruption, organised crime, racism, Roman Catholic theology an ...more...

The People of Freedom


The People of Freedom (Italian: Il Popolo della Libertà, PdL) was a centre-right political party in Italy. The PdL, launched by Silvio Berlusconi on 18 November 2007, was initially a federation of political parties, notably including Forza Italia and National Alliance, which participated as a joint election list in the 2008 general election. The federation was later transformed into a party during a party congress on 27–29 March 2009. The party's leading members included Angelino Alfano (national secretary), Renato Schifani, Renato Brunetta, Roberto Formigoni, Maurizio Sacconi, Maurizio Gasparri, Mariastella Gelmini, Antonio Martino, Giancarlo Galan, Maurizio Lupi, Gaetano Quagliariello, Daniela Santanchè, Sandro Bondi and Raffaele Fitto. The PdL formed Italy's government from 2008 to 2011 in coalition with Lega Nord. After having supported Mario Monti's technocratic government in 2011–2012, the party was part of Enrico Letta's government with the Democratic Party, Civic Choice and the Union of the Centre. ...more...

Vincenzo De Luca


Vincenzo De Luca (born May 8, 1949 in Ruvo del Monte ) is an Italian politician, member of the Democratic Party . De Luca has been Mayor of Salerno for more than 17 years and he is serving as President of the Campania region since 18 June 2015. Early life Vincenzo De Luca was born in Ruvo del Monte , in the province of Potenza , on May 1949 and moved, then in Salerno at an early age with his family. He completed his studies in Salerno earning his diploma at the high lyceum gymnasium Torquato Tasso and, after a few years of medical studies in Naples , he abandoned with the rise of political engagement, and graduated in philosophy at the University of Salerno . After graduating, for a few years he taught philosophy in high schools. Political career During 1970s De Luca became a member of the Italian Communist Party , at the time led by Enrico Berlinguer . In 1975, after having been head of the provincial organization, he will be appointed provincial secretary of the PCI, leading the federation for 10 years. I ...more...

Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale


The Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (English: "Institute for Industrial Reconstruction"), best known by its acronym IRI, was an Italian public holding company established in 1933 by the Fascist regime to rescue, restructure and finance banks and private companies that went bankrupt during the Great Depression. After the Second World War, IRI played a pivotal role in the Italian economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s. It was dissolved in 2000. History In 1930 the Great Depression affected the Italian financial sector, seriously disrupting credit lines and making it difficult for companies to obtain loans. The Fascist regime led by Benito Mussolini, fearing a credit crunch with subsequent mass dismissals and a wave of social unrest, started to take over the banks' stakes in large industrial companies (such as steel, weapons and chemicals). At the same time, Mussolini tried to inject capital into failing businesses. Although initially conceived as a temporary measure, IRI continued to operate throu ...more...

Forza Italia


Forza Italia (translated to "Forward Italy" or "Let's Go Italy", FI) was a centre-right political party in Italy with liberal-conservative, Christian-democratic, liberal and populist tendencies, as well as a significant social-democratic minority. Its leader was Silvio Berlusconi, four times Prime Minister of Italy. The party was founded in December 1993 and won its first general election soon afterwards in March 1994. It was the main member of the Pole of Freedoms/Pole of Good Government, Pole for Freedoms and House of Freedoms coalitions. Throughout its existence, the party was characterised by a strong reliance on the personal image and charisma of its leader—it has therefore been called a "personality party" or Berlusconi's "personal party" —and the skillful use of media campaigns, especially via television. The party's organisation and ideology depended heavily on its leader. Its appeal to voters was based on Berlusconi's personality more than on its ideology or programme. In November 2008 the national ...more...

Italian Social Movement


The Italian Social Movement (MSI), later the Italian Social Movement – National Right (Italian: Movimento Sociale Italiano – Destra Nazionale, MSI–DN), was a neo-fascist and post-fascist political party in Italy. Formed in 1946 by supporters of the former dictator Benito Mussolini, most of whom took part in the experience of the Italian Social Republic and the Republican Fascist Party, the MSI became the fourth largest party in Italy by the early 1960s. The party gave informal local and eventually national support to the Christian Democrats from the late 1940s and through the 1950s, sharing anti-communist ideologies. In the early 1960s, the party was pushed to the sidelines of Italian politics, and only gradually started to gain some political recognition in the 1980s. There was internal competition between the party's moderate and radical factions. The radicals led the party in its formative years under Giorgio Almirante, while the moderates gained control in the 1950s and 1960s. Almirante's return as lead ...more...

2006 Italian football scandal


The 2006 Italian football scandal, or Calciopoli in the Italian-speaking world, involved Italy's top professional football leagues, Serie A and Serie B. The scandal was uncovered in May 2006 by Italian police, implicating league champions Juventus and other major teams including Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina when a number of illegal telephone interceptions showed a thick network of relations between team managers and referee organizations, being accused of rigging games by selecting favourable referees. Origins The scandal first came to light as a consequence of investigations of prosecutors on the Italian football agency GEA World. Transcripts of recorded telephone conversations published in Italian newspapers suggested that, during the 2004–05 season, Juventus general managers Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo had conversations with several officials of Italian football to influence referee appointments. The name Calciopoli (which could be translated as "Footballville") is an ironic adaptation of ...more...

Arnaldo Forlani


Arnaldo Forlani , OMI OESSH ( Italian pronunciation:  ; born 8 December 1925) is an Italian politician who served as the 43rd Prime Minister of Italy from 18 October 1980 to 28 June 1981. He also held the office of Deputy Prime Minister , Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence . Forlani, a member of the right-wing of the Christian Democracy , was one of the most prominent Italian politicians from the 1970s to early 1990s. At age 92, Forlani is currently the oldest living former Italian Prime Minister. Early life and career Arnaldo Forlani was born in Pesaro , Marche , from a middle-class family. In 1948, after the degree in law at the University of Urbino , Forlani began his political career, holding the position of provincial secretary of Christian Democracy for Pesaro; he was later elected in the municipal and provincial councils. In 1954 he became a member of the central committee of Christian Democracy. In the 1958 general election Forlani was elected in the Chamber of Deputies for the fir ...more...

Duilio Poggiolini


Duilio Poggiolini (born 25 July 1929 in Rome ), was general manager of the pharmaceutical department of the National Ministry of Health under Francesco De Lorenzo and was involved in the Mani Pulite (Clean Hands) scandal of Tangentopoli. He was member of the P2 Masonic lodge. He graduated in medicine in 1954, majored in physiology and in 1963 achieved a position as professor of microbiology, in 1966 professor in chemotherapy, then in 1972 professor of hygiene. In 1972 he became inspector general at the Ministry of Health. In 1981 he became the Italian representative in the World Health Organization for the essential drugs program. In 1991 he was elected President of the Commission for pharmaceuticals concerned with EEC harmonization of medicine between the Member States of the European Economic Community. He was also vice president of the Italian Pharmacopoeia Commission. On 20 September 1993 he was arrested at Lausanne, in Switzerland, due to a series of charges related to forgery and bribery in the manag ...more...

Spanish general election, 2015


The 2015 Spanish general election was held on Sunday, 20 December 2015, to elect the 11th Cortes Generales of the Kingdom of Spain . All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies were up for election, as well as 208 of 266 seats in the Senate . At exactly 4 years and one month since the previous general election, this remains the longest timespan between two general elections since the Spanish transition to democracy , and the only time in Spain a general election has been held on the latest possible date allowed under law. After a legislature plagued by the effects of an ongoing economic crisis , corruption scandals affecting the ruling party and social distrust with traditional parties, the election resulted in the most fragmented Spanish parliament in its history. While Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy 's People's Party (PP) emerged as the largest party overall, it obtained its worst result since 1989 . The party's net loss of 64 seats and 16 percentage points also marked the largest loss of support for a sitting ...more...

Michele Santoro


Michele Santoro (born 2 July 1951) is an Italian journalist , and television host and presenter . He also served till October 2005 as Member of the European Parliament for Southern Italy with the Olive Tree , part of the Socialist Group and sat on the European Parliament 's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs , being a substitute for the Committee on Culture and Education , a member of the Delegation to the EU - Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and a substitute for the Delegation to the EU- Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee. Education and career Santoro was born in Salerno . A graduate in Philosophy , he made a successful debut in the Italian media as editor-in-chief on the regional newspaper La Voce della Campania ("Voice of Campania") and collaborating with some other national newspapers and magazines like Il Mattino , L'Unità and Epoca . Before being hired by RAI , he had had some experience with a number of radio stations. He started his RAI career in TG3 , the Rai Tre new ...more...

Italy–United States relations


Italy–United States relations are the bilateral relations between the Italian Republic and the United States of America. The United States has warm and friendly relations with Italy. The United States has had diplomatic representation in the nation of Italy and its predecessor nation, the Kingdom of Sardinia, since 1840. However, in 1891 the Italian government severed diplomatic relations and briefly contemplated war against the US as a response to the unresolved case of the lynching of eleven Italians in New Orleans, Louisiana, and there was a break in relations from 1941 to 1943, while Italy and the United States were at war. After World War II, Italy became a strong and active transatlantic partner which, along with the United States, has sought to foster democratic ideals and international cooperation in areas of strife and civil conflict. Toward this end, the Italian government has cooperated with the United States in the formulation of defense, security, and peacekeeping policies. Under longstanding b ...more...

Italian Republican Party


The Italian Republican Party ( Italian : Partito Repubblicano Italiano , PRI ) is a liberal and social-liberal political party in Italy . The PRI is a party with old roots that began with a left-wing position, claiming descent from the political thought of Giuseppe Mazzini . The early party was also known for its anti-clerical and anti-fascist roots. The PRI was a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) until 2010. History Background and foundation The PRI traces its origins from the time of Italian unification and, more specifically, to the democratic-republican wing represented by figures such as Giuseppe Mazzini , Carlo Cattaneo and Carlo Pisacane . They were against the so-called piemontesizzazione of Italy, meaning the conquest by war of the Kingdom of Sardinia ( Piedmont ) of the rest of Italy. After the latter was unified under the Savoy kings, following the political lines of moderates such as Camillo Benso di Cavour , the Republicans remained aside from the political life of t ...more...

Rome municipal election, 1993


Municipal elections were held in Rome on 21 November 1993 with a second round on 5 December. The center-left candidate Francesco Rutelli ( Greens ) faced the neo-fascist candidate Gianfranco Fini . Control of the 19 circoscrizioni of the Italian capital was also to be decided in the elections. 55 councillors were due to be elected in the City Council. As a result of the election, Fini was defeated by Rutelli on the second round. The center-left controls 36 seats against for the center-right. Background With the Law of 25 March 1993, n. 81 was introduced the direct election of mayor and the appointment of members of the giunta by the same, whereas previously the mayor as much as the council were elected by the municipal council. In this way the form of government of the town, previously attributed to the parliamentary model, was approached at the presidential model. The same law had fixed four-year term of office of Mayor, later extended to five (Law no. 267/2000). The election took place in a period of change ...more...

History of Milan


The following is a history of Milan , Italy . Antiquity Ruins of the Emperor's palace in Milan. Here Constantine I and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan . Around 400 BC, the Celtic Insubres settled Milan and the surrounding region. In 222 BC, the Romans conquered the settlement, renaming it Mediolanum . History tells us that Mediolanum (Milan), the Latinized form of Medhelanon, meaning "sanctuary", was founded by the Insubri Celts in 590 B.C. According to Titus Livy’s comments, the city was founded around 600 B.C. by Belloveso, chief of the Celtic tribe. Legend has it that Belloveso found a mythological animal known as the scrofa semilanuta (in Italian: "half-woollen boar") which became the ancient emblem of the city of Milan (from semi-lanuta or medio-lanum). Several ancient sources (including Sidonius Apollinaris, Datius, and, more recently, Andrea Alciato) have argued that the scrofa semilanuta is connected to the etymology of the ancient name of Milan, "Mediolanum", and this is still occasionally mentio ...more...

Marcello Dell'Utri


Marcello Dell'Utri (born 11 September 1941 in Palermo , Sicily) is a convicted mafia criminal and a former Italian politician senior advisor to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi . Formerly Senator in the Italian Senate for The People of Freedom political party, he was also member of the Italian Parliamentary Delegation to the Council of Europe and of the Italian Parliamentary Delegation to the Western European Union (WEO). He was appointed artistic director of the now closed Teatro Lirico in Milan by the then mayor Letizia Moratti ( PDL party) his appointment has been strongly criticized by art critic and then Head of Culture Department of the Municipality of Milan Vittorio Sgarbi . Dell'Utri has been found guilty of tax fraud , false accounting , and complicity in conspiracy with the Sicilian Mafia ; the conviction for the last charge has been upheld on 9 May 2014 by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation which sentenced Dell'Utri to seven years in prison. The conviction is final and cannot be further appeal ...more...

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