Mariastella Gelmini

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Mariastella Gelmini
Mariastella Gelmini 2.jpg
Italian Minister of Education
In office
8 May 2008 – 16 November 2011
Prime MinisterSilvio Berlusconi
Preceded byGiuseppe Fioroni
Succeeded byFrancesco Profumo
Member of the
Italian Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
April 21, 2006
ConstituencyLombardy 2
Personal details
Born (1973-07-01) July 1, 1973 (age 46)
Leno, Brescia, Italy
Political partyThe People of Freedom
Spouse(s)Giorgio Patelli (since 2010)[1]
ChildrenEmma Patelli[2]
Alma materUniversity of Brescia

Mariastella Gelmini is an Italian politician and attorney (specialised in administrative law). She served as Italian Minister of Education in the Berlusconi IV Cabinet until November 16, 2011.


Berlusconi with FI's leaders in the Parliament, Mariastella Gelmini and Anna Maria Bernini.

Member of the Forza Italia political movement of Silvio Berlusconi since its foundation in 1994, during the same year she became chairperson of the "Azzurri" club in Desenzano del Garda settling the first representation of Forza Italia in the Province of Brescia.

In 1998 she was the first elected in the administrative poll in Desenzano del Garda and became the president of the city council until 2000, in which year a motion of no confidence against her eventually passed.[3]

Gelmini passed her bar exam in 2001 in Reggio Calabria, far away from her home town and the university where she graduated, as the academic standards in that city were low and pass rate suspiciously high.[4]

In 2002 she was elected as councillor of the Province of Brescia. During her term in office she devised the "Piano Territoriale di Coordinamento Provinciale", by virtue of which the environmentally protected areas of Parco della rocca e del sasso di Manerba, Parco delle colline di Brescia and Parco del lago Moro were established.

In 2005 She was elected as member of the regional council of Lombardy resulting the most voted candidate among the Lombard constituencies. After this electoral success, she became Forza Italia's political chief in Lombardy, becoming a coordinatore regionale.

Students demonstration against Gelmini's reforms.

In 2006 Mariastella Gelmini was elected as member of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Italian Parliament.

On 18 November 2007, she was in Piazza San Babila in Milan when Silvio Berlusconi announced the birth of the Popolo della Libertà political movement and subsequently she became a member of the founding committee of the party. Since 2008 she has served in the Italian Government as Minister of Education in the Berlusconi IV Cabinet. In the same year she was re-elected in the Chamber of Deputies.


In October 2008 demonstrations took place across Italy against the school reform proposed by Gelmini. In 2009 the reform was approved.[5][6] On 8 October 2010 further demonstrations by students occurred in all the major Italian cities against Gelmini's recent reforms.[7] [8]


On 23 September 2011 she attracted widespread criticism for a statement released on the Education ministry website, with regard to the breakthrough at the Gran Sasso laboratory in Abruzzo, Italy, where neutrinos were recorded at a speed greater than the speed of light. The statement wrongly declares that the Italian Government had contributed to building a tunnel between the Gran Sasso National Laboratory and CERN in Switzerland. Such a tunnel does not exist. The two locations are approximately 750 km apart. This statement caused controversy both in and outside Italy.[9] Gelmini defended herself saying that her declaration referred to the tunnel used only to send the first flux of neutrins; Giovanni Bignami, president of "Istituto nazionale di astrofisica", defended Minister's statement.[10]


  1. ^ "La Gelmini sposa Giorgio Patelli. Pubblicazioni affisse in Comune". (in Italian). 12 January 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Fiocco rosa all'Istruzione. Nata figlia della Gelmini". (in Italian). 10 April 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  3. ^ Comune di Desenzano del Garda, ed. (2009-10-14). "Delibera del Consiglio Comunale n. 33 del 31/03/2000". Retrieved 2009-10-14.
  4. ^ "Notes on a scandal". Nature. 471 (7337): 135–136. March 2011. doi:10.1038/471135b. PMID 21390084.
  5. ^ "Protests over Italy school reform". BBC News. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  6. ^ Krause-Jackson, Flavia; Lorenzo Totaro (30 October 2008). "Italian School Protest Draws Thousands; Paralyzes Central Rome". Bloomberg. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  7. ^, retrieved 8 October 2010. On 14 December 2010, was enacted its law school budget cuts, millions of students have expressed their contempt, resulting in more than 20 million in damages to the capital, Rome. The biggest revolt that Italy has ever seen.
  8. ^ Krause-Jackson, Flavia; Lorenzo Totaro (30 October 2008). "Italian School Protest Draws Thousands; Paralyzes Central Rome". Bloomberg. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  9. ^ "La scoperta del Cern di Ginevra e dell'Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare è un avvenimento scientifico di fondamentale importanza". Italian Ministry of Education. 23 September 2011. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Giuseppe Fioroni (Instruction)
Fabio Mussi (University and Research)
Italian Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Francesco Profumo
Italian Chamber of Deputies
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies

2006 - present