|44th Prime Minister of Italy|
28 June 1981 – 1 December 1982
|Preceded by||Arnaldo Forlani|
|Succeeded by||Amintore Fanfani|
|President of the Italian Senate|
2 July 1987 – 14 April 1994
|Preceded by||Giovanni Francesco Malagodi|
|Succeeded by||Carlo Scognamiglio Pasini|
|President of Italy|
28 April 1992 – 28 May 1992
|Prime Minister||Giulio Andreotti|
|Preceded by||Francesco Cossiga|
|Succeeded by||Oscar Luigi Scalfaro|
|Minister of Defence|
4 August 1983 – 17 April 1987
|Prime Minister||Bettino Craxi|
|Preceded by||Lelio Lagorio|
|Succeeded by||Remo Gaspari|
|Minister of Public Education|
20 March 1979 – 4 August 1979
|Prime Minister||Giulio Andreotti|
|Preceded by||Mario Pedini|
|Succeeded by||Salvatore Valitutti|
|Minister of Culture|
23 November 1974 – 12 February 1976
|Prime Minister||Aldo Moro|
|Succeeded by||Mario Pedini|
|Born||21 June 1925|
Florence, Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy
|Died||4 August 1994 (aged 69)|
Rome, Lazio, Italy
|Political party||Republican Fascist Party|
Italian Republican Party
|Alma mater||University of Florence|
|Profession||Teacher, journalist, historian|
Spadolini was born in Florence in 1925. In his youth, working in a public library, Spadolini was a republican and fascist-aligned activist, and wrote for the periodical Italia e Civiltà ("Italy and Civilization"), near to Giovanni Gentile, and in a number, Spadolini explicited his anti-Masonry, anti-liberalism and anti-semitism. In 1944, during the Italian Civil War, he joined in to the Italian Social Republic.
In the post-war time (1945–1950), Spadolini revised the majority of his old ideas, and became a moderate conservative to liberal. He also rejected his old anti-semitism for Zionism. He studied law at the University of Florence and shortly after graduation, was appointed professor of contemporary history in the faculty of political science. He also became a political columnist for several newspapers, like Il Borghese, Il Messaggero and Il Mondo, becoming editor-in-chief of the Bologna paper Il Resto del Carlino in 1955, doubling its circulation during his tenure. In 1968, Spadolini moved to Milan where he took over the editorship of Italy's largest newspaper, Corriere della Sera, which job he held until leaving journalism to enter politics. In 1972, he was elected as a senator, going on to serve as minister of the environment and then minister of education. Then in 1979, he was appointed secretary of the small but powerful Italian Republican Party (PRI).
Giovanni Spadolini served as Ministro dei Beni e delle Attività culturali (Minister for Cultural Assets and Activities) from 1974 to 1976.
He was leader of the Italian Republican Party (PRI) from 1979 to 1987, during both the 10th and the 11th Legislatures.
He served as Prime Minister of Italy from 1981 to 1982, the first since 1945 not to be a member of the Christian Democracy. He pledged to fight corruption (in particular a scandal involving certain Italian political figures connected with a Masonic lodge known as P2) and mounting terrorist violence.
In foreign policy, he was a non-interventionist but also moderately Americanist. In particular, he shifted away from Italy's previous pro-Arab policy, refusing to meet Yasser Arafat during his official visit to Italy to protest the murder of Stefano Gaj Taché, an Italian Jewish child, by PLO terrorists, and suggesting that the Bologna train station bombing may have been perpetrated by the PLO and Gaddafi's Libya, in spite of a majority accusing neo-fascists.
In 1982, after a political crisis between the Minister of the Treasury Beniamino Andreatta (DC) and the Minister of Finances Rino Formica (PSI), Spadolini resigned and formed a new cabinet identical to the former, that collapsed in November when Bettino Craxi's Socialist Party withdrew support.
However, under his rule, the PRI obtained 5% of all votes for the first time in the 1983 general election.
From 1987 to April 1994, he was President of the Italian Senate. He became Acting President of Italy on 28 April 1992, upon the resignation of President Francesco Cossiga, for a month. Following the electoral success of Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, he lost the chairmanship of the Senate to Carlo Scognamiglio Pasini by a single vote. He died four months later in Rome.
- Media related to Giovanni Spadolini at Wikimedia Commons