|59th Prime Minister of Italy|
17 February 1972 – 7 July 1973
|Preceded by||Emilio Colombo|
|Succeeded by||Mariano Rumor|
|62nd Prime Minister of Italy|
29 July 1976 – 4 August 1979
|Deputy||Ugo La Malfa|
|Preceded by||Aldo Moro|
|Succeeded by||Francesco Cossiga|
|71st Prime Minister of Italy|
22 July 1989 – 24 April 1992
|Preceded by||Ciriaco de Mita|
|Succeeded by||Giuliano Amato|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
4 August 1983 – 22 July 1989
|Preceded by||Emilio Colombo|
|Succeeded by||Gianni De Michelis|
|Minister of Defence|
15 February 1959 – 23 February 1966
|Preceded by||Antonio Segni|
|Succeeded by||Roberto Tremelloni|
14 March 1974 – 23 November 1974
|Prime Minister||Mariano Rumor|
|Preceded by||Mario Tanassi|
|Succeeded by||Arnaldo Forlani|
|Minister of the Interior|
18 January 1954 – 8 February 1954
|Prime Minister||Amintore Fanfani|
|Preceded by||Amintore Fanfani|
|Succeeded by||Mario Scelba|
11 May 1978 – 13 June 1978
|Preceded by||Francesco Cossiga|
|Succeeded by||Virginio Rognoni|
19 June 1991 – 6 May 2013
|Appointed by||Francesco Cossiga|
14 January 1919|
Rome, Lazio, Italy
|Died||6 May 2013
Rome, Lazio, Italy
|Political party||Christian Democracy (1942–1994)
Italian People's Party (1994–2001)
European Democracy (2001–2002)
Union of the Centre (2008–2013)
|Children||Lamberto, Marilena, Stefano, Serena|
|Alma mater||University of Rome La Sapienza|
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Giulio Andreotti (Italian: [ˈʤuːljo andreˈɔtti]; 14 January 1919 – 6 May 2013) was the 41st Prime Minister of Italy and leader of the Christian Democracy party. Occupying all the major offices of state over the course of a forty-year political career, he was a figure who reassured the civil service, business community, and the Vatican while further integrating Italy into the European Union. In foreign policy, he established closer relations with the Arab world. Admirers of Andreotti saw him as having mediated political and social contradictions, enabling the transformation of a substantially rural country into the fifth-biggest economy in the world. Critics said he had done nothing against a system of patronage that had led to pervasive corruption. In his personal life he was a devout Catholic with a relatively modest lifestyle who did not use his position to enrich himself or his family.
At the height of his prestige as a statesman, Andreotti was subjected to criminal prosecutions. He was acquitted at a trial in Palermo of collaborating with the Mafia, which his close Sicilian allies had known links to. Prosecutors in Perugia charged him with ordering the murder of a journalist; a charge even political enemies found hard to believe. In 2002 he was found guilty, which led to complaints that the justice system had "gone mad". He was later definitively acquitted by the supreme court. Andreotti remarked "Apart from the Punic Wars, for which I was too young, I have been blamed for everything".
Andreotti served as the 41st 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), Defence Minister (1959–66 and 1974) and Foreign Minister (1983–89) and was a Senator for life from 1991 until his death in 2013. He was also a journalist and author. Andreotti was sometimes called Divo Giulio (from Latin Divus Iulius, "Divine Julius", an epithet of Julius Caesar after his posthumous deification). During the 16th term of the Senate in 2008–13, he opted to join the parliamentary group UDC – independence.
- 1 Background and attributes
- 2 Career
- 3 Prime Minister
- 4 Latter political life
- 5 Death and legacy
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Background and attributes
Andreotti, the youngest of three children, was born in on 14 January 1919 in Rome, his father was a primary school teacher from Segni, a small town in Lazio, who died when Giulio was two. He showed some ferocity as a youth, once stubbing out a lit taper in the eye of another alter boy who was ridiculing him. His mother was described as not very affectionate, an aunt is said to have advised him to remember that few things in life are important, and never to over-dramatise difficulties. As an adult he was described as having a somewhat unusual demeanor for an Italian politician, being mild mannered and unassuming. Andreotti did not use his influence to advance his children to prominence, despite being widely considered the most powerful person in the country for decades. "See all, tolerate much, and correct one thing at a time" was a quote that emphasised what has been called his 'art of the possible' view of politics. He was known for his discretion and retentive memory, and also a sense of humour; often placing things in perspective with a sardonic quip. Andreotti's personal support within the Christian Democrats was limited—he never became the party's leader; but he had the ability to see where the mutual advantage for apparently conflicting interests lay, and put himself at the centre of events as mediator.
Andreotti did not shine at his school and started work in a tax office while studying law at the University of Rome. In 1938 while researching the papal navy in the Vatican library, he met Alcide de Gasperi who had been given sanctuary by the pope. De Gasperi asked Andreotti if he had nothing better to do with his time, inspiring him to become politically active. During his studies at the university he was member of the Federazione Universitaria Cattolica Italiana (FUCI, or Italian Catholic University Federation), which was then the only Catholic university association allowed by the Fascist government. Its members included many of the future leaders of the Italian Democrazia Cristiana (or DC, the Christian Democracy party).
In July 1939, while Aldo Moro was president of FUCI, Andreotti became director of its magazine Azione Fucina. In 1942, when Moro was enrolled in the Italian Army, Andreotti succeeded him as president of FUCI, a position he held until 1944. During his early years Andreotti suffered violent migraines that forced him to sporadically make use of psychoactive drugs and opiates. During World War II, Andreotti wrote for the Rivista del Lavoro, a fascist propaganda publication, but was also a member of the then clandestine newspaper Il Popolo. In 1944 he became a member of the National Council of DC. After the end of the conflict, he became responsible for the youth organization of the party.
Chamber of Deputies and government
In 1946, Andreotti was elected to the Assemblea Costituente, the provisional parliament which had the task of writing the new Italian constitution. His election was supported by Alcide De Gasperi, founder of the modern DC, whose assistant Andreotti became. In 1948, he was elected to the newly formed Chamber of Deputies to represent the constituency of Rome-Latina-Viterbo-Frosinone, which remained his stronghold until the 1990s.
Andreotti began his government career in 1947, when he became undersecretary to the President of the Council of Ministers in the cabinet of his patron De Gasperi, who reputedly said Andreotti was 'so capable in everything that he could become capable of anything'. Andreotti had wider ranging responsibilities than many full ministers which caused some envy.
Influence on culture
As the state undersecretary in charge of entertainment in 1949, Andreotti established import limits, screen quotas, and provided loans to Italian production firms. The measures were aimed at preventing American productions dominating the market against Neorealist films, a genre which exhibitors complained lacked stars, and was held in low esteem by the public. As he phrased it there were to be 'Less rags, more legs'. Raunchy comedies and historical dramas with voluptuous toga-clad actresses became the staple of the Italian film industry. To ensure that state funds were not used to prop up commercially unsustainable films the screenplays were vetted, thereby creating a form of preproduction censorship. It was intended that Italian studios use part of their profits for high quality films. However, Vittorio de Sica's Umberto D, which depicted the lonely life of a retired man, could only strike government officials as a dangerous throwback, due to the opening scene featuring police breaking up a demonstration of old pensioners and the ending scene featuring Umberto's aborted suicide attempt. In a public letter to De Sica, Andreotti castigated him for his "wretched service to his fatherland." 
1950s and 1960s
In 1954, Andreotti became minister of the interior. Later he was finance Minister, In the same period, Andreotti started to form a corrente (unofficial political association) within DC, which was then the largest party in Italy. His corrente was supported by the Roman Catholic right wing. It started its activity with a press campaign accusing Piero Piccioni, son of the deputy national secretary of the DC, Attilio Piccioni, of the murder of fashion model Wilma Montesi at Torvaianica. After eliminating De Gasperi's old followers in the DC National Council, Andreotti helped another newly formed corrente, the Dorotei, to oust Amintore Fanfani, who was on the left of the party, as Prime Minister of Italy and National Secretary of the DC.
On 20 November 1958 Andreotti, then minister of treasury, was appointed president of the organizing committee of the 1960 Summer Olympics to be held in Rome. In the early 1960s Andreotti was minister of defence, and was informal leader of the right wing Christian Democratic opposition to Moro’s strategy. In this period the revelation that dossiers on virtually every public figures in the country had been compiled by the secret service resulted in the SIFAR affair. Andreotti ordered the destruction of the dossiers. In 1968, Andreotti was named speaker of the parliamentary group of the DC, a position he held until 1972.
In 1972, Andreotti's first term as prime minister began a period when he was often seen as the eminence grise of governments even when not actually premier. He occupied the post of prime minister in two consecutive centre-right cabinets in 1972 and in 1973, as well as important positions in subsequent governments.
Andeotti's approach owed little to a belief that market mechanisms could be left to work without interference. He used price controls on essential food stuffs and various social reforms to reach an understanding with organised labour. A law of 11 August 1972 extending health insurance to citizens over the age of 65 in receipt of a social pension. A law of 30 June 1973 extended cost of living indexation to the social pension. A Land Use law of 28 January 1977 introduced severe constraints on construction, such as new criteria for land expropriations and new planning procedures. A Fair Rent Law of 27 July 1978 completed state control of rents with general rules for rent levels and terms of leases. A law of 5 August 1978 introduced a ten-year housing plan, with the state making funds available to regions for public housing and subsidies for private housing. A law of 16 February 1977 introduced ad hoc upgrading of cash benefits for the agricultural sector. In November 1977, pension linkage to the industrial wage was extended to all other pension schemes not administered by INPS. A law of 16 February 1977 extended family allowances to agricultural part-time workers. As premier, Andeotti's urging of fellow leaders in the European Community was influential in the creation of an EU Regional Development Fund, which the south of Italy was to greatly benefit from.
Androetti was on close terms with six successive pontiffs. Although a devout Catholic, he gave the Vatican unsolicited advice on occasion, and was often heeded. He updated the relationship of Roman Catholicism to the Italian state in an accord he presented to parliament. It put the country on a more secular basis: abolishing Roman Catholicism as the state religion, making religious instruction in public schools optional, and having the Church accept Italy's divorce law. In May 1978 he signed a law making abortion legal. The accord passed in 1984.
Business and foreign policy
In 1972 he paid an official visit to the Soviet Union, the first by an Italian premier for more than a decade. From 1974 to 1976, Andreotti served as minister of foreign affairs. During his tenure, Italy opened and developed diplomatic and economic relationships with Arab countries of the Mediterranean Basin, and supported business and trade between Italy and Soviet Union.
Challenge of Communist electoral gains
In 1976, the Italian Socialist Party left the centre-left government of Aldo Moro. The ensuing elections saw the growth of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and the DC kept only a minimal advantage as the relative majority party in Italy, which was then suffering from an economic crisis and from terrorism. After the success of his party, PCI secretary Enrico Berlinguer approached DC's left-leaning leaders, Moro and Fanfani, with a proposal to bring forward the so-called "historic compromise", a political pact proposed by Moro which would see a government coalition between DC and PCI for the first time. Andreotti, known as an anti communist, was called in to lead the first experiment in that direction: his new cabinet, formed in July 1976, included only members of his ouwn Christian Democrat party but had the indirect support of the communists. In 1977 Andreotti dealt with an economic crisis by criticising the luxury lifestyle of many Italians and pushing through tough austerity measures. This cabinet fell in January 1978.
In March 1978, the crisis was overcome by the intervention of Moro, who proposed a new cabinet, again formed only by DC politicians, but this time with positive confidence votes from the other parties, including the PCI. This cabinet was also chaired by Andreotti, and was formed on 16 March 1978, the day on which Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the left wing terrorist group the Red Brigades. The dramatic situation which followed brought PCI to vote for Andreotti's cabinet for the sake of what was called "national solidarity", despite its refusal to accept several previous requests.
During the kidnapping of Moro, Andreotti refused any negotiation with the terrorists, Moro, during his imprisonment, wrote a statement expressing very harsh judgements against Andreotti. Moro was killed by the Red Brigades in May 1978. After his death, Andreotti continued as Prime Minister of the "National Solidarity" government with the support of the PCI. Laws approved during his tenure include the reform of the Italian National Health Service. However, when the PCI asked to participate more directly in the government, Andreotti refused, and the government was dissolved in June 1979. Due also to conflict with Bettino Craxi, secretary of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), the other main party in Italy at the time, Andreotti did not hold any further government position until 1983.
1980s and 1990s
In 1983, Andreotti became minister of foreign affairs in the first cabinet of Bettino Craxi. He held this position until 1989, among other things encouraging diplomacy between the USA and the Soviet Union and improving Italian links with Arab countries. In this respect he followed a line similar to that of Craxi, with whom he had an otherwise troubled political relationship. Andreotti supported Craxi's moves during the hijacking of the Achille Lauro ship. On 14 April 1986, Andreotti revealed to Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham that the United States would bomb Libya the next day in retaliation for the Berlin disco terrorist attack which had been linked to Libya. As a result of the warning from Italy – a supposed ally of the US – Libya was better prepared for the bombing. Nevertheless, on the following day Libya fired two Scuds at the Italian island of Lampedusa in retaliation. However, the missiles passed over the island, landing in the sea, and caused no damage. As Craxi's relationship with the then National Secretary of the DC, Ciriaco de Mita, was even worse, Andreotti was instrumental in the creation of the so-called "CAF triangle" (from the initials of the surnames of Craxi, Andreotti and another DC leader, Arnaldo Forlani) opposing De Mita's power. In 1989, when De Mita's government fell, Andreotti was called to succeed him.
European union negotiations
In 1990 Andreotti was involved in getting all parties to agree to a binding timetable for the Maastricht Treaty. The deep Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union favoured by Italy was opposed by Britain's Margaret Thatcher who wanted a system of competition between currencies. Germany had doubts about committing to the project without requiring economic reforms from Italy, which was seen as having various imbalances. As president of the European Council, Andreotti co-opted Germany by making admittance to the single market automatic once the criteria had been met, and committing to rigorous overhaul of the Italian public finances. Critics later questioned Andreotti's understanding of the obligation, or whether he had ever intended to fulfill it.
Latter political life
In 1992, at the end of the legislature, Andreotti resigned from premiership. The previous year, Cossiga had appointed him senator for life. Andreotti was one of the most likely candidates to succeed Cossiga as President of the Republic in 1992. He and the members of his corrente had adopted a strategy of launching his candidature only after effectively quenching all the others. The strategy was thwarted by allegations against him.
Trial for Mafia association
Andreotti came under suspicion because his relatively small faction within the Christian Democrats included Sicilian Salvatore Lima. In Sicily, Lima cooperated with a Palermo-based Mafia, which operated below the surface of public life by using control of large numbers of votes to enable mutually beneficial relationships with local politicians. Andreotti said "But Lima never spoke to me about these things". By the 80's the old low profile Mafia was overthrown by the Corleonesi, an extremely violent faction led by fugitive Salvatore Riina. Whereas old Mafia bosses had been cautious about violence, Riina's targeting of anti-mafia officials proved ever more counter-productive. The 1982 murders of parliamentarian Pio La Torre and Carabinieri general Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa led to the Maxi Trial. Prosecutors, who could not be disciplined or removed except by their own self-government board, the CSM, were given increased powers. After the January 1992 upholding of the Maxi Trial verdicts as definitive convictions by the supreme court, Riina embarked on a renewed campaign which claimed the lives of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. As Riina intended the assasination of Falcone discredited Andreotti and prevented him becoming the president of Italy, it also led to prosecutors being seen as epitomising civic virtue. In January 1993 Riina was arrested in Palermo. In the aftermath of Riina's capture there were further Mafia bomb outrages that included terror attacks on art galleries and churches, which left ten members of the public dead, and led to weakening of rules on the evidence which prosecutors could use to bring charges.
In 1993 Andreotti stood trial in Palermo, charged with membership in a Mafia association. Prosecutors said in return for electoral support of Lima and assassination of Andreotti's enemies, he had agreed to protect the Mafia, which had expected him to fix the Maxi Trial. The defence said Andreotti had been a long-time politician of national stature, never beholden to Lima; and that far from providing protection, Andreotti had passed many tough anti-mafia laws when in government during the 80's. According to Andreotti's lawyers the prosecution case was based on conjecture and inference, without any concrete proof of direct involvement by Andreotti. The defence also contended the prosecution relied on the word of mafia turncoats whose evidence had been contradictory. One such informer testified Riina and Andreotti had met and exchanged a "kiss of honour". It emerged the informer had received a US$ 300,000 ‘bonus’, and committed a number of murders while in the witness protection programme. Andreotti dismissed the allegation against him as “lies and slander … the kiss of Riina, mafia summits … scenes out of a comic horror film".  He was acquitted, but the prosecution appealed, and Andreotti's final acquittal on Mafia-related charges did not come until 2004. In 2010 the supreme court ruled Andreotti had slandered a judge who had given testimony, by saying the self-governing body of prosecutors and judges should remove him from his position. Andreotti had said leaving the man as a judge was "like leaving a lighted fuse in the hand of a child".
Trial for murder
Contemporaneously with his trial for Mafia association Andreotti was tried in Perugia with a Mafia boss, a far right terrorist and others on charges of complicity in the murder of journalist Mino Pecorelli. The case was circumstantial and based on the word of Mafia turncoat Tommaso Buscetta who had not originally mentioned the allegation about Andreotti when interviewed by Giovanni Falcone and had recanted it by the time of the trial. Andreotti was acquitted along with his co-defendants in 1999. Local prosecutors successfully appealed the acquittal and there was a retrial, which in 2002 convicted Andreotti and sentenced him to 24 years imprisonment. Italians of all political allegiances denounced the conviction. The Italian supreme court definitively acquitted Andreotti of the murder in 2003.
Corruption scandals discredited a whole generation of politicians, many of them Christian Democrats. The party vanished from the political sphere, and Andreotti joined the Italian People's Party founded by Mino Martinazzoli, abandoning it in 2001 after the creation of La Margherita. In 2006, Andreotti stood for the Presidency of the Italian Senate, obtaining 156 votes against the 165 of Franco Marini, former Labour Minister in the last Andreotti Cabinet. On 21 January 2008 he abstained from a vote in the Senate concerning Minister Massimo D'Alema's report on foreign politics. Together with the abstentions of another life senator, Sergio Pininfarina, and of two communist senators, this caused the government to lose the vote. Consequently, Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigned. On previous occasions, Andreotti had always supported Prodi's government with his vote.
Death and legacy
Andreotti said the opinion of others was of little consequence to him, and "In any case, a few years from now, no one will remember me." He died in Rome on 6 May 2013 after suffering from respiratory problems. He was 94. The BBC described him as "one of the most prominent political figures of post-war Italy". The New York Times noted he had "a résumé of signal accomplishments and checkered failings that reads like a history of the republic". The Mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, announced the death, stating that Andreotti was ""the most representative politician" Italy had known in its recent history".
A widely disseminated conspiracy theory, which was given credence by media such as the Economist magazine, posited Andreotti as involved in, or even ordering, various assassinations. He was supposedly pulling the strings of a secret association of freemasons, corrupt politicians, civil servants, industrialists, military leaders, heads of the secret service, and prominent journalists. A strategy of tension was said to have made use of neo-fascist fugitive Valerio Fioravanti, Rome gangsters the Banda della Magliana and, Operation Gladio, a clandestine NATO organisation that was intended to fight a Soviet conquest of Europe through an armed resistance movement. The theory suggested that Andeotti was somehow behind the lodge Propaganda Due, supposedly involved in the kidnap and death of Moro and other crimes including terrorist attacks, coup plots, banking scandals and various assassinations. Nicknamed Belzebù (Beelzebub) or "The Devil himself" by Bettino Craxi, Andeotti had the last laugh when Craxi fled Italy, sought on corruption charges. Other disparaging nicknames include "The Black Pope", and "The Hunchback" (he had a malformed spine). Although relatively tall for an Italian of his generation, cartoonists sometimes portrayed Andreotti as a hunchback dwarf lurking in the background. Fictional characters have been influenced by his image as a Machiavellian, they include: Don Licio Lucchesi from the movie The Godfather Part III. A joke about Andreotti (originally seen in a strip by Stefano Disegni and Massimo Caviglia) had him receiving a phone call from a fellow party member, who pleaded with him to attend judge Giovanni Falcone's funeral. His friend supposedly begged: "The State must give an answer to the Mafia, and you are one of the top authorities in it!". To which a puzzled Andreotti asked: "Which one do you mean?" In 2008 Andreotti became the subject of Paolo Sorrentino's acclaimed movie Il Divo, which portrayed him as an humorless enigmatic figure, in whose orbit people tended to meet untimely and unnatural deaths. He reportedly lost his temper when he first saw it, but later joked "I'm happy for the producer. And I'd be even happier if I had a share of the takings.
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- Il Divo a Paolo Sorrentino Film