Italian Chamber of Deputies
27 May 1968 – 24 May 1972
|Italian Republic Senator|
|1st and 3rd President of Sicily|
29 October 1905|
San Cataldo, CL
|Died||13 July 2009
|Political party||Democrazia Cristiana|
Giuseppe Alessi (29 October 1905 – 13 July 2009) was an Italian politician.
He was born in San Cataldo in the province of Caltanissetta (Sicily). He was one of the founding members of the Christian Democratic (Democrazia Cristiana) party on the island and became the first elected President of the Regional Government of Sicily. He was a member of the reform wing of the DC. From 1968 to 1972, he was a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
Journalist Alexander Stille interviewed Alessi in the 1990s and asked him about the relations between the Christian Democrats and the Mafia: "It happened this way. Some people in the Christian Democratic Party approached the separatists, whose backbone were these Mafia bosses and invited them to join the national parties ... [T]he Mafiosi were looking for the road to power, to secure the support they needed for their economic affairs. If the mayor was Republican, they became Republican, if he was Socialist, they were Socialist, if he was Christian Democrat they became Christian Democrat."
Alessi now defends them as a necessary evil of the Cold War period: "The Christian Democrats subordinated their ideals for a supreme interest of national importance: saving the democratic state. The victory of Communism would have meant Italy ended up behind the Iron Curtain."
Alessi's justification of his party's dealings with the Mafia is based on a romantic view of the Mafia of the 1940s an 1950s: "They weren't criminals, they were local potentates, neighbourhood bosses, proud men of prestige. Their crimes were basically economic - fraud, forgery, illegal appropriation of property - but they disliked real crime."
Alessi died in Palermo, aged 103, on 13 July 2009.
- "Giuseppe Alessi. Il primo presidente", Articolo da “Il venerdì” di La Repubblica, 22 June 2007 (Italian)
- Announcement of Giuseppe Alessi's 103rd birthday (in Italian) (Italian)
- Obituary (in Italian) (Italian)