Andreotti, Giulio

Andreotti, Giulio

Andreotti, Giulio, 1919-, Italian political leader. A member of the Christian Democratic party, Andreotti held a variety of ministerial posts throughout the 1950s and 60s and first served as premier in 1972-73. He subsequently held the premiership again (1976-79), was minister for foreign affairs (1983-89), and returned for a third period as premier (1989-91). In 1993, he was investigated for corruption and accused of protecting the Mafia. Indicted in 1995, he also went to trial in 1996 for ordering the murder of a journalist said to have incriminating information. In 1999, he was acquitted of both sets of charges, a decision that ultimately was upheld on appeal.

Francesco Cossiga (born July 26, 1928) is an Italian politician and former President of the Italian Republic. He was also a professor of law at University of Sassari.

Early career

Cossiga was born in Sassari in the north of Sardinia. He started his political career during World War II in groups of Catholic reference. He is commonly called kosˈsiːga, but actually the original pronunciation of his surname is [ˈkɔsːiga], with the stress on the first syllable, which means "Corsica". He is the cousin of Enrico Berlinguer.

He has been several times a minister for Democrazia Cristiana (DC); notably during his stay at Viminale (Ministry for internal affairs) he re-structured Italian police, civil protection and secret services organisations. He was in charge during the kidnapping and murdering of Aldo Moro by Red Brigades and resigned when Moro was found dead in 1978.

Election as President of Italian Senate of Republic

During the ninth republican legislature, he was elected President of Italian Senate 12th of July 1983 and he was until 24th of June 1985, when he became President of Italian Republic

Election as President of Italy

Resigning from his post, he earned the respect of the opposition (in particular of the Italian Communist Party) because he appeared as the only member of the government who took responsibility for the tragic conclusion of the events. This led to his election in 1985 as President of the Republic (Head of State), in which for the first time ever a candidate won at the first ballot (where a majority of over ⅔ is necessary, which would subsequently decrease in later ballots). The only other president of the Italian Republic elected at the first ballot was Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in 1999.

The Cossiga Presidency

Cossiga's presidency was unremarkable for its first five years, as most presidents until then refrained entering the open political debate in order to remain figures of reference for the whole nation.

However, in his last two years as a President, Cossiga began to express opinions, at times virulent, against the Italian political system. In his opinion, Italian parties, and especially DC and PCI, had to take into account the deep change that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War would have brought.

These declarations, soon dubbed "esternazioni", or "mattock blows" (picconate), were considered by many inappropriate for a President. Cossiga declared he was just "taking pleasure in removing some sand from my shoes". Cossiga was supported by the secretary of the Italian Socialist Party, Bettino Craxi.

A strong tension with the President of the Council of Ministers Giulio Andreotti emerged when Andreotti revealed the existence of Gladio, a Stay-behind organization with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. Cossiga declared his involvement in the setup of the organization. The Communist Party started a procedure for impeachment (Presidents of Italy can be impeached only for high treason against the State or Attempt against the Constitution). The request of impeachment was subsequently withdrawn.

Cossiga resigned two months before the end of his term, on April 28 1992. He was voted again for president by the Italian Social Movement, which had supported him in his campaigns.

Life senator

After his resignation from Quirinale (the Roman hill in which is the office of the Head of State), he is a lifetime senator, like all the former Presidents of the Republic, since 1992. His current title is President Emeritus of the Italian Republic.

In February 1998 Cossiga created the UDR party (Unione Democratica per la Repubblica), declarately a centrist political formation. The UDR was a crucial component of the majority that supported the D'Alema government in October 1998, after the fall of the Prodi government which lost a confidence vote.

Cossiga declared that his support for D'Alema was meant to end the conventional exclusion of the former Communist Party (PCI) leaders from the premiership in Italy.

In 1999 UDR was dissolved. Cossiga returned to his senator for life activity, with a prominent interest in security matters, as his parliamentary record shows (see ).

He remains a vocal commentator of Italian politics.

On 27 November 2006, he resigned from his position as lifetime senator. His resignation was however rejected on 31 January 2007 by a vote of the Senate.

References

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