Roberto Formigoni

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Roberto Formigoni
8th President of Lombardy
In office
23 April 1995 – 27 February 2013
Preceded by Paolo Arrigoni
Succeeded by Roberto Maroni
Personal details
Born (1947-03-30) 30 March 1947 (age 67)
Lecco, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party New Centre-Right (since 2013)
Other political
Christian Democracy (1973-1994)
Italian People's Party (1994-1995)
United Christian Democrats (1995-1999)
Forza Italia (1999-2009)
The People of Freedom (2009-2013)
Residence Milan
Alma mater Catholic University of Milan
Profession Politician
Religion Roman Catholicism

Roberto Formigoni (Lecco, 30 March 1947) is an Italian senator and was the President of Lombardy from 1995 to 2013.

Life and career[edit]

Graduated in Philosophy at the Università Cattolica in Milan, he studied political economy at the Sorbonne, in Paris.

Roberto Formigoni began his political career early in Christian Democracy, through youth movements such as Gioventù Studentesca and Communion and Liberation (of which he became the unofficial political spokesman). In 1976, he founded the Popular Movement and was elected a deputy in both the European Parliament (with over 450,000 votes) and Parliament of Italy. He was also the Vice-President of the European Parliament for five years and served as under-secretary for the Environment in the Italian government.

In 1990, he garnered attention when he was involved in a mission to Iraq which successfully concluded with the freeing of some Italian technicians who were hostages of the local government. He later took part in the Oil-for-food programme for Iraq, buying 1,000,000 oil barrels (160,000 cubic metres). The move sparked controversy and linked him to alleged bribe scandals. In 1995, he and Rocco Buttiglione founded the United Christian Democrats party. In 1998, he moved to Forza Italia, when Buttiglione briefly decided to support the government of Massimo D'Alema.

He was elected President of Lombardy in 1995. Leftist groups opposed his center-right platform. President Formigoni was re-elected in 2000 carrying over 62% of the approximately 3.5 million votes, and in 2005.

He was elected again for a fourth term in March, 2010. His candidature had been contested by academics and left-wing politicians, as in disregard of Law n. 165/2004, that put a limit of two consecutive mandates to directly-elected Regional Presidents. Formigoni was indirectly elected in 1995, but then directly elected in 2000 and 2005. He defends himself stating that the law was not in action when he was first directly elected in 2000, so he should be allowed a 4th mandate. According to some scholars, his mandate may be overturned by judges later on.[1][2]

Formigoni also sparked controversy when he put Nicole Minetti, a former showgirl and current dental hygienist of Silvio Berlusconi, who asked for a political seat for her, on his majority-prize list.[3]

On October 16, 2012, Formigoni announced the dissolution of the regional legislature after one of his commissioners, Domenico Zambetti of the People of Freedom was arrested on accusations he bought votes from the 'Ndrangheta in 2010 and extorted favours and public building contracts, including construction tenders for the World Expo 2015 in Milan.[4][5] A non-political administration ran Lombardy until early elections in 2013. The same year he was elected to the Italian Senate.

After the split of the People of Freedom, Formigoni joined the New Centre-Right party.

Views on irregular migration[edit]

On October 3, 2013, following the tragic drowning of scores of irregular immigrants off the coast of Lampedusa [6] Senator Formigoni was reported to have suggested that the so-called "pushback policy" is the cause of tragic migrant drownings. [7]

This view stands in stark contrast to the views expressed by the Minister of Infrastructure Maurizio Lupi, who blamed the tragedy on "traffickers of death who exploit the hope of the poor"; reiterating a commitment to bring pressure from the international community and the European Union in particular to rectify the situation.[8]

A more extreme view, that of the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Gianluca Pini, Vice President of the Northern League is that political responsibility of the tragedy should be placed on the policies promoted by Cécile Kyenge, the Congolese-born politician currently serving as Minister for Integration in the Lette government; and Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy since 16 March 2013 and former spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:

"[As Boldrini- Kyenge are] spreading unfiltered messages of welcome you can only expect to harvest more victims of a war. Both Boldrini as Kyenge have on their conscience all those illegal immigrants who died in recent months".[9]

In an article on Famiglia Cristiana dated October 1, 2013, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, reiterated his support for the balanced views of Prime Minister Lette, while expressing "shock" at Northern League attacks on Minister Kyenge.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vittorio Angiolini, professore ordinario di Diritto costituzionale dell'Università di Milano; Margherita Raveraira, Università di Perugia Il limite del doppio mandato alla immediata rielezione del Presidente della giunta regionale: una questione complessa,
  2. ^ Michele Ainis, La terza via di Errani e Formigoni, La Stampa, 25 gennaio 2010
  3. ^ Running for Parliament, the Italian showgirl who made Silvio Berlusconi smile again, Mail Online, 19 febbraio 2010
  4. ^ Italy corruption probes claim Lombardy legislature, Miami Herald, October 16, 2012
  5. ^ Mafia probe claims political victim, Financial Times, October 14, 2012
  6. ^ Rai News 24, A fire on a barge, over 80 dead, hundreds of migrants still missing. Accessed on 3rd October 2013
  7. ^
  8. ^ Rai News 24, A fire on a barge, over 80 dead, hundreds of migrants still missing. Accessed on 3rd October 2013
  9. ^ Rai News 24, Letta: A human tragedy, Alfano already in Pantelleria,
  10. ^ Famiglia Cristiana, Una legge europea sui imigranti, 1 October 2013, p. 26, accessed on 3 October 2013

External links[edit]