Angelino Alfano

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Angelino Alfano
Angelino Alfano daticamera.jpg
Minister of the Interior
Incumbent
Assumed office
28 April 2013
Prime Minister Enrico Letta
Matteo Renzi
Preceded by Anna Maria Cancellieri
Deputy Prime Minister of Italy
In office
28 April 2013 – 22 February 2014
Prime Minister Enrico Letta
Minister of Justice
In office
8 May 2008 – 27 July 2011
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Preceded by Luigi Scotti
Succeeded by Nitto Francesco Palma
Personal details
Born (1970-10-31) 31 October 1970 (age 44)
Agrigento, Italy
Political party DC (Before 1994)
FI (1994–2009)
PdL (2009–2013)
NCD (2013–present)
Alma mater Università Cattolica, Milan
University of Palermo
Religion Roman Catholicism

Angelino Alfano (Italian pronunciation: [andʒeˈlino alˈfano]; born 31 October 1970) is an Italian politician who has served in the government of Italy as Minister of the Interior since 28 April 2013.

Alfano was also Deputy Prime Minister of Italy from 2013 to 2014, as part of the Letta Cabinet, and previously served as Minister of Justice from 2008 to 2011 as part of the Berlusconi IV Cabinet. He was secretary of the centre-right party The People of Freedom (PdL) from 2011 to 2013.

In November 2013 he became leader of the New Centre-Right party which is a split from the PdL.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Angelino Alfano was born in Agrigento, Sicily on 31 October 1970;[2] his father, Angelo Alfano, was a lawyer and local politician for the Christian Democracy, who also held the position of deputy mayor of Agrigento.

After receiving a law degree from Milan's Università Cattolica and a doctorate in Corporate law from the University of Palermo, Alfano started his political experience, as his father, with the Christian Democracy party.

Political career[edit]

After some years in the Christian Democracy party, in 1994, when DC was changed his name in the centre-left oriented Italian People's Party, Alfano joined Forza Italia, the new centre-right party founded by the media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, and was elected to the Agrigento Province Council. In 1996, Alfano was the youngest member elected to the Sicilian Regional Assembly.

In 2001, he became a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, after the victory of the centre-right House of Freedoms coalition led by Berlusconi in the 2001 general election. From 2005 to 2008 he also held the position of regional coordinator in Sicily of the Forza Italia party.

Minister of Justice[edit]

Alfano at the EPP Congress in Marseille

After the 2008 elections victory by the Berlusconi-led centre-right coalition, Alfano was again elected to Parliament. In May 2008, aged 37, he became the youngest Minister of Justice in the history of the Italian Republic.

The so-called Lodo Alfano, named after him, was a piece of legislation in force between 2008 and 2009 that granted immunity from prosecution to the four highest political offices in Italy (President of the Republic, Presidents of the two Houses of Parliament, and Prime Minister). It was widely criticised as a copy of the Lodo Schifani, declared unconstitutional in 2004, and was seen by critics as an ad personam law aimed primarily at stopping trials involving Berlusconi. The Lodo Alfano was declared unconstitutional by the Italian Constitutional Court in October 2009.[3]

After the People of Freedom party lost both local elections in Milan and Naples, and also suffered a defeat at the 2011 referendums, on 1 June 2011 Angelino Alfano was appointed Political Secretary of the People of Freedom by party President Silvio Berlusconi in order to reorganise and lead it in the next election. He was later elected to that post by the July 1 meeting of the party's National Council.[4]

Minister of the Interior[edit]

On 28 April 2013, he began to serve as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior in the Letta Cabinet.[5]

On 19 July 2013, the Italian Senate voted a confidence vote on Alfano, promoted by Five Star Movement and Left Ecology Freedom, after the expulsion from Italy of the wife and the daughter of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh dissident, approved by Alfano.[6] After the vote Alfano was confirmed as minister.

On November 2013, Alfano and other People of Freedom ministers, known as "doves", who were strong supporters of Enrico Letta's government, refused to join the new Forza Italia (FI), founded upon the dissolution of the PdL by Berlusconi. All five PdL ministers, three under-secretaries, 30 senators and 27 deputies immediately joined a new party called New Centre-Right.[7] Most were Christian democrats and many came from the southern regions of Calabria and Sicily.[8]

On 13 February 2014, following tensions with his left-wing rival and new Secretary of the Democratic Party, Matteo Renzi, Letta announced he would resign as Prime Minister the following day. On 22 February Renzi sworn in as new Prime Minister and Alfano was confirmed as Interior Minister.

A major problem Alfano has faced, as Interior Minister, is illegal immigration to Italy, which emerged as a result of the Libyan and Syrian Civil Wars. On 8 August 2014, the Italian Cabinet approved a law-decree contrasting the phenomenon of lawlessness and violence at sporting events and provided for the international protection of migrants. In November 2014, the Italian-run rescue option Operation Mare Nostrum was replaced by Frontex's Operation Triton, due to the refusal by several EU governments to fund it.

On 19 April 2015, a huge shipwreck took place in the Mediterranean Sea, causing the death of more than 700 migrants from North Africa.[9]

Controversy[edit]

In 2002, La Repubblica reported the presence of Alfano at the 1996 wedding of the daughter of Croce Napoli (died 2001), believed by investigators[citation needed] to be the Mafia boss of Palma di Montechiaro. As shown on an amateur video of the party, Alfano, then a deputy of the Sicilian Regional Assembly, was greeted with affection by Croce Napoli. Alfano at first told La Repubblica he had "no memory or recollection of this wedding" and that "I never participated in a wedding of Mafia or of their children, I do not know his wife, Gabriella, and I've never heard of Mr. Croce Napoli who was said to be boss of Palma di Montechiaro."[10] Later he said that he remembered that he was actually at the wedding but had been invited by the groom and did not know the bride and her family.[11]

In 2013, he was threatened with a no-confidence motion, since under his watch as interior minister he expelled back to Kazakhstan the wife and 6-year-old daughter of an exiled opponent of Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The expulsion has been linked to Italy's commercial interests in the oil- and gas-rich republic.[12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kevin Lees (18 November 2013). "What the Alfano-Berlusconi split means for Italian politics". Suffragio. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Governo Italiano - Biografia del ministro Angelino Alfano Biography (Italian)
  3. ^ Sentenza n. 292/2009, Consulta Online, 7 October 2009
  4. ^ "Italy's Berlusconi sees Angelino Alfano as his successor". BBC News. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Italy PM-designate Enrico Letta agrees new government". BBC. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Berlusconi: Noi compatti con Alfano. Nel Pd i renziani insistono sulla sfiducia
  7. ^ "Alfano lancia il Nuovo centrodestra: "No a Fi per me scelta dolorosa. No a decadenza Berlusconi"", Il Messaggero (in Italian), 16 November 2013, retrieved 16 November 2013 
  8. ^ Francesco Bei (16 November 2013), "Il "Nuovo centrodestra", gruppi in crescita e logo tricolore", la Repubblica (in Italian), retrieved 18 November 2013 
  9. ^ Bonomolo, Alessandra; Kirchgaessner, Stephanie. "Migrant boat captain arrested as survivors of sinking reach Italy". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Francesco Viviano (5 February 2002). "Il bacio pericoloso di Alfano". La Repubblica. p. 1. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  11. ^ Francesco Viviano (6 February 2002). "Alfano ricorda: 'Ero amico dello sposo". La Repubblica. p. 6. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Shirtsleeve time". The Economist (London and Rome). 20 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Italian politics: Nursultan Nazarbayev's chum in Italy The Economist 16 July 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Luigi Scotti
Italian Minister of Justice
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Nitto Francesco Palma
Preceded by
Anna Maria Cancellieri
Italian Minister of Interior
2013–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
New office Secretary of the People of Freedom
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Party abolished