|President of Campania|
11 May 2000 – 29 March 2010
|Preceded by||Andrea Losco|
|Succeeded by||Stefano Caldoro|
|Mayor of Naples|
6 December 1993 – 24 March 2000
|Preceded by||Francesco Tagliamonte|
|Succeeded by||Rosa Russo Iervolino|
|Minister of Work and Social Security|
21 October 1998 – 6 June 1999
|Prime Minister||Massimo D'Alema|
|Preceded by||Tiziano Treu|
|Succeeded by||Cesare Salvi|
20 March 1947 |
|Political party||Democratic Party
|Italian Communist Party
Democratic Party of the Left
Democrats of the Left
Antonio Bassolino, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (born March 20, 1947 in Afragola, Province of Naples) is an Italian politician. He has been President of the Campania region from 2000 to 2010 and Mayor of Naples from 1993 to 2000.
Bassolino was born in Afragola, Campania. At 17 he entered the Federation of Young Italian Communists, and in 1970 became a member of the regional council for the Italian Communist Party (PCI), and, the following year, secretary of the party section in Avellino. He held the latter position until 1975, when he became regional secretary for the PCI; from 1972, he was member of the party's national committee. In 1987, he was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in the college of Catanzaro, becoming president of the Parliament media committee in 1990.
In the process leading to the split-up of the PCI into the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS) and the Party of the Communist Refoundation (PRC), Bassolino represented the moderate wing that sought mediation. Eventually, he joined the PDS.
In 1992, he was reelected to the Chamber, and, in 1993, he was sent to Naples to reform the local section of PDS — which had been involved in the Tangentopoli bribe scandal. It was there that he gained fame as a "hardman," a reputation which surfaced during the subsequent election for mayor, which he won by defeating the right-wing candidate, Alessandra Mussolini.
Bassolino's years as mayor of Naples are generally viewed as a period of civil, economical and social renaissance for the city. In 1997 he was reelected, this time with the 72.9% of the votes. In October 1998, Premier Massimo D'Alema nominated him Minister of Welfare; however, after the assassination of his advisor Massimo D'Antona in October 1999, Bassolino resigned in order to focus his activities on Naples.
In 2000, he ran for the presidency of Campania, which raised some controversies. He was elected with 54.3% of the votes, and, in the elections of April 2005, with 61.6%. Among his accomplishments as governor of Campania are the construction of a regional metropolitan rail service and the new TAV station for high-speed trains in his native Afragola. Bassolino received the "Gold Star" Prize for his commitment to developing tourism and cultural ventures in Naples during his years as mayor. His essays include Mezzogiorno alla prova (1980) and La repubblica delle città (1996).
However, it has been argued that, under his administration, the regional debt has doubled. Moreover and more importantly Bassolino has a considerable share of responsibility in the environmental disaster in the Campania region due to the deficiencies of the rubbish collection and treatment systems. In fact Bassolino is one of the 29 people remanded for trial and accused of involvement in ongoing aggravated fraud against the State and fraud regarding public works. The collapse of the services which were supposed to collect and treat the rubbish led to accumulation or garbage in the streets of the major urban centres to the point that schools and other public places had to be closed for some days and tourism declined substantially in 2008. As a result of this an increasing number of citizens and associations have been vocally calling for Bassolino's resignation.
He is married to Anna Maria Carloni and was elected to the Senate in the XV legislature.
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- "Bassolino: tra un anno lascio". Corriere.it. 8 April 2008.