Luigi Di Maio
Luigi Di Maio
|Deputy Prime Minister of Italy|
|Assumed office |
1 June 2018
Serving with Matteo Salvini
|Prime Minister||Giuseppe Conte|
|Preceded by||Angelino Alfano (2014)|
|Minister of Economic Development,|
Labour and Social Policies
|Assumed office |
1 June 2018
|Prime Minister||Giuseppe Conte|
|Leader of the Five Star Movement|
|Assumed office |
23 September 2017
|Preceded by||Beppe Grillo|
|Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies|
21 March 2013 – 22 March 2018
|Member of the Chamber of Deputies|
|Assumed office |
15 March 2013
|Born||6 July 1986|
|Political party||Five Star Movement|
Luigi Di Maio (Italian pronunciation: [luˈiːdʒi di ˈmaːjo]; born 6 July 1986) is an Italian politician serving as Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of Economic Development, Labour and Social Policies since 1 June 2018. He previously served as Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies in the XVII Italian legislature. He is the leader of the Five Star Movement, an anti-establishment party founded by Beppe Grillo.
Luigi Di Maio was born in Avellino, in 1986; he was the eldest of three brothers. His father Antonio was a small real estate entrepreneur and local councilor for the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI), while his mother was a teacher of Italian and Latin.
Di Maio attended the Liceo classico and then he enrolled at the University of Naples Federico II to study engineering, but subsequently changed to jurisprudence. He was among the founders of student societies at both faculties. Di Maio never graduated from university.
In 2007, he was registered as an apprentice journalist, later briefly working as a webmaster and as a drinks seller (despite his claims of having been a steward) at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples.
On 12 July 2017, Di Maio was formally investigated for defamation following a complaint filed by Marika Cassimatis, former M5S mayoral candidate in Genoa, while, on 28 July 2017, the journalist Elena Polidori filed a complaint against him also for defamation. Di Maio invoked his parliamentary immunity; he had previously criticized that privilege and pledged never to avail himself of it.
In 2017, Beppe Grillo announced that he would campaign in the 2018 election, but he would not be the candidate for the position of Prime Minister. Di Maio was considered as the front runner and the most likely candidate for the premiership of Italy.
Di Maio had been often labeled as the most pragmatic and "institutional", but also the least populist Five Star politician; he is the son of a member of the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement and he is considered the leader of the moderate and "governmental" faction of the movement. No other leading members of the M5S, such as Alessandro Di Battista, a politician and personal friend of Di Maio, or Roberto Fico, leader of the M5S left-wing faction and rival of Di Maio and Di Battista, would run for the office.
Di Maio's opponents were the Senator Elena Fattori (Vice President of the 9th Permanent Senate Committee) and six other city councilors. Many of them were almost unknown and this led to a lot of criticism from the Democratic Party, Lega Nord and Forza Italia, which considered this ballot a false primary election, with the only aim of appointing Di Maio as M5S candidate without any real challenger.
2018 general election
In the 2018 general election, the M5S became the party with the largest number of votes and of parliamentary seats, while the centre-right alliance, in which Matteo Salvini's League emerged as the main political force, won a plurality of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate and the centre-left coalition, led by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, came third. However, no political group or party won an outright majority, resulting in a hung parliament.
On 7 April, Di Maio made an appeal to the PD to "bury the hatchet" and consider a governing coalition with his party. 
On 7 May, President Mattarella held a third round of government formation talks, after which he formally confirmed the lack of any possible majority (M5S rejecting an alliance with the whole centre-right coalition, PD rejecting an alliance with both M5S and the centre-right coalition, and the League's Matteo Salvini refusing to start a government with M5S but without Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, whose presence in the government was explicitly vetoed by M5S's leader Luigi Di Maio); on the same circumstance, he announced his intention to soon appoint a "neutral government" (irrespective of M5S and League's refusal to support such an option) to take over from the Gentiloni Cabinet which was considered unable to lead Italy into a second consecutive election as it was representing a majority from a past legislature, and offering an early election in July (on what it would be the very first time for a summer general election in Italy) as a realistic option to take into consideration due to the deadlock situation. The Lega and M5S agreed to hold new elections on 8 July, an option that was however rejected by all other parties.
On 9 May, after a day of rumours surfaced, both Di Maio and Salvini officially requested President Mattarella to give them 24 more hours to strike a government agreement between the two parties. Later the same day, in the evening, Silvio Berlusconi publicly announced Forza Italia would not support a M5S-League government on a vote of confidence, but he would still maintain the centre-right alliance nonetheless, thus opening the doors to a possible majority government between the two parties.
On 13 May, 5 Star Movement and League reached an agreement in principle on a government program, likely clearing the way for the formation of a governing coalition between the two parties, but could not find an agreement regarding the members of a government cabinet, most importantly the prime minister. M5S and League leaders met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on 14 May to guide the formation of a new government. On their meeting with President Mattarella, both parties asked for an additional week of negotiations to agree on a detailed government program and a prime minister to lead the joint government. Both M5S and the League announced their intention to ask their respective members to vote on the government agreement by the weekend.
On 21 May 2018, Di Maio and Salvini proposed the private law professor Giuseppe Conte, for the role of Prime Minister in the 2018 Italian government, despite reports in the Italian press suggesting that President Mattarella still had significant reservations about the direction of the new government. On 23 May 2018, Conte was invited to the Quirinal Palace to receive the presidential mandate to form a new cabinet. In the traditional statement after the appointment, Conte said that he would be the “defense lawyer of Italian people”.
However, Conte renounced to his office on 27 May due to contrasts between Salvini and President Mattarella. In fact, Salvini proposed the university professor Paolo Savona as Minister of Economy and Finances, but Mattarella strongly opposed him, considering Savona too Eurosceptic and anti-German. In his speech after Conte's resignation, Mattarella declared that the two parties wanted to bring Italy out of the Eurozone, and as the guarantor of Italian Constitution and country's interest and stability he could not allow this.
On the following day, Mattarella gave Carlo Cottarelli, a former director of the International Monetary Fund, the task of forming a new government. On 28 May 2018, the Democratic Party (PD) announced that it would abstain from voting the confidence to Cottarelli, while the Five Star Movement and the center-right parties Forza Italia (FI), Brothers of Italy (FdI) and the League announced their vote against.
Cottarelli was expected to submit his list of ministers for approval to President Mattarella on 29 May. However, on 29 May and 30 May he held only informal consultations with the President, waiting for the formation of a “political government”. Meanwhile, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio announced their willingness to restart the negotiations to form a political government, Giorgia Meloni, leader of FdI, gave her support to the initiative. On May 31, M5S and the League declared of having reached an agreement about forming a new government, without Paolo Savona as finance minister (he will became minister of European affairs instead), and with Conte at its head.
Deputy Prime Minister
|2018 general election (C): Acerra|
|Luigi Di Maio||Five Star Movement||95,219||63.4|
|Vittorio Sgarbi||Centre-right coalition||30,596||20.4|
|Antonio Falcone||Centre-left coalition||18,018||12.0|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Luigi Di Maio.|
- Kiss, Laura (3 February 2014). "Will Passion Save Italy?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Five Star Movement
| Deputy Prime Minister of Italy
Served alongside: Matteo Salvini
| Minister of Economic Development|
| Minister of Labour and Social Policies|