Giulio Andreotti (born 14 January 1919 in Rome) is an Italian politician of the centrist Christian Democratic party who served as Prime Minister of Italy from 1972 to 1973, from 1976 to 1979, and from 1989 to 1992. He also served as Minister of the Interior (1954 and 1978), Defense Minister (1959-1966 and 1974) and Foreign Minister (1983-1989), and he has been a Senator for life since 1991. He is also a journalist and author.
He is sometimes called Divo Giulio (from Latin Divus Iulius, "divine Julius", an epithet of Julius Caesar) because of his authority and importance in the history of Italian republican politics. The film Il Divo deals with Andreotti's ties to the Mafia and won the Prix du Jury at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
He was the last Christian Democratic prime minister of Italy, serving from 1989 to 1992. His last term was marred by the revelation of the corruption which ultimately destroyed the party. On October 24, 1990, Giulio Andreotti acknowledged before the Chamber of Deputies the existence of Operazione Gladio, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization secret anti-communist structure. During the first stages of Tangentopoli he was left untouched but in April 1993 he was investigated for having mafia relations. In 1994 the party of which he was a predominant figure vanished from the political sphere.
After the April 2006 general election, Andreotti, aged 87, accepted to be the candidate for the Presidency of the Senate for Silvio Berlusconi's House of Freedoms alliance that was still governing at the time. He was opposed by The Union's Franco Marini and lost to him 156 votes to 165.
On January 21 2008, he abstained from a vote in the Senate concerning Minister Massimo D'Alema's report on foreign politics. This choice, together with the abstentions of another life senator, Sergio Pininfarina, and of two communist senators, caused the government to lose the vote: as a consequence, Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigned. On previous occasions, Andreotti had always supported Prodi's government with his vote. Given his close ties to the high ranks of the Catholic Church, the abstention of Andreotti was read by many as a sort of warning delivered by the Conferenza Episcopale Italiana to the government which at that time was pushing ahead a proposal for legal recognition of unmarried couples, including same-sex couples. (See Recognition of gay unions in Italy.)
Et tu Giulio? Giulio Andreotti, the most powerful figure in post war Italy and seven times prime minister, goes on trial next week charged with protecting the Mafia. Paddy Agnew reports from Palermo as an international corps of witnesses - for the prosecution and defence gathers for the trial
Sep 23, 1995; SCENE 1: Sicily, summer 1979 Outside an ugly little villa on a dusty, country backroad near Palermo, a group of men stands...
Clean Hands on Every Count ; How Giulio Andreotti, Seven Times Prime Minister of Italy, Escaped from the Shadow of the Mafia
Oct 24, 1999; or a man who has become known as Mr Italy, Giulio Andreotti is remarkably unlike the stereotype of the Italian politician. When...