Massimo D'Alema

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Massimo D'Alema
Massimo D'Alema ONU.jpg
Prime Minister of Italy
In office
21 October 1998 – 26 April 2000
PresidentOscar Luigi Scalfaro
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
DeputySergio Mattarella
Preceded byRomano Prodi
Succeeded byGiuliano Amato
Deputy Prime Minister of Italy
In office
17 May 2006 – 8 May 2008
Prime MinisterRomano Prodi
Preceded byGiulio Tremonti
Succeeded byAngelino Alfano
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
17 May 2006 – 8 May 2008
Prime MinisterRomano Prodi
Preceded byGianfranco Fini
Succeeded byFranco Frattini
Party political offices
President of the Democrats of the Left
In office
6 November 1998 – 14 October 2007
Preceded byGiglia Tedesco Tatò
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Secretary of the Democrats of the Left
In office
12 February 1998 – 6 November 1998
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byWalter Veltroni
Secretary of the Democratic Party of the Left
In office
1 July 1994 – 12 February 1998
Preceded byAchille Occhetto
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Secretary of the Italian Communist Youth Federation
In office
3 April 1975 – 12 June 1980
Preceded byRenzo Imbeni
Succeeded byMarco Fumagalli
Parliamentary offices
Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic
In office
26 January 2010 – 15 March 2013
Preceded byFrancesco Rutelli
Succeeded byGiacomo Stucchi
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
28 April 2006 – 14 March 2013
In office
2 July 1987 – 19 July 2004
Casarano (1994–2004)
Member of the European Parliament
In office
20 July 2004 – 27 April 2006
ConstituencySouthern Italy
Personal details
Born (1949-04-20) 20 April 1949 (age 73)
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Political partyArt.1 (since 2017)
Other political
PCI (1963–1991)
PDS (1991–1998)
DS (1998–2007)
PD (2007–2017)
SpouseLinda Giuva
WebsiteOfficial website

Massimo D'Alema (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmassimo daˈlɛːma]; born 20 April 1949)[1] is an Italian politician and journalist who was the 53rd prime minister of Italy from 1998 to 2000. He was Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2008. D'Alema also served for a time as national secretary of the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS). The media has referred to him as Leader Maximo due to his first name and for his dominant position in the left-wing coalitions during the Second Republic.[2]

Earlier in his career, D'Alema was a member of the Italian Communist Party and was the first former communist to become prime minister of a NATO country and the only former communist prime minister of Italy.


D'Alema was born in Rome on 20 April 1949,[1] the son of Giuseppe D'Alema, a communist politician. He is married to Linda Giuva, a professor at the University of Siena, and has two children, Giulia and Francesco. He later became a notable member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), the bulk of which in 1991 became the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS) and in 1998 merged into Democrats of the Left (DS).

In 1998, succeeding Romano Prodi, he became Prime Minister as the leader of The Olive Tree centre-left coalition. He was the first former Communist to become prime minister of a NATO country and the first Prime Minister born after Italy became a Republic in 1946. While D'Alema was Prime Minister, Italy took part in the NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999. The attack was supported by Silvio Berlusconi and the centre-right opposition, while the far left strongly contested it.

D'Alema during a Democratic Party meeting

In the internal life of his party, mostly during its transition from PCI to PDS, D'Alema stressed that its roots in Marxism should be renovated, with the aim to create a modern Western European social-democratic party. He has been the director of L'Unità, formerly the official newspaper of the PCI, which subsequently became the newspaper of the DS.

D'Alema was Member of the European Parliament for Southern Italy with the Democrats of the Left, part of the Party of European Socialists group, and sat on the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries and its Committee on Foreign Affairs until he stood down following his election to the Chamber of Deputies in Italy.

Following Romano Prodi's win in the 2006 Italian general election, D'Alema was initially tipped to become President of the Italian Republic once the Chamber of Deputies reconvened, but D'Alema himself stepped back, endorsing the official candidate of the centre-left coalition, Giorgio Napolitano, who was elected. Immediately following the April 2006 election, he was proposed as the future President of the Chamber of Deputies. The Communist Refoundation Party strongly pushed for Fausto Bertinotti to become the next President. After a couple of days of heated debate, D'Alema stepped back to prevent a fracture between political parties, an act applauded by his allies. The same month, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new Prodi government. He served in those posts until Prodi's government fell and Berlusconi's centre-right coalition prevailed in the 2008 Italian general election. D'Alema was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies in this election as part of the recently formed Democratic Party.[1]

2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict[edit]

While Italian Foreign Minister in the 2006–2008 Romano Prodi centre-left government, D'Alema took a pro-active diplomatic stance during the 2006 Lebanon War. Italy led negotiations with the Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni and was proposed by Israel to head the multinational peacekeeping mission Unifil, although the dangers of the mission for Italian troops sparked warnings from the centre-right opposition that it could prove a "kamikaze" mission, with the peacekeepers sandwiched between Israel and the well-armed Hezbollah.[3] D’Alema pledged Italy's willingness to enforce the United Nations resolution on Lebanon and urged other European Union member states to do the same because the stability of the Middle East should be a chief concern for Europeans.[4]

On the European scene[edit]

D'Alema with Condoleezza Rice

D'Alema was briefly a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2006. Since 2003 he has been member of the scientific committee of Michel Rocard and Dominique Strauss-Kahn's association "A gauche en Europe". He still figures on the European scene; he signed the Soros letter ('As concerned Europeans') and has called for a stronger European integration.[5] Three year after the peace-keeping role in the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war, D'Alema became one of the favourite candidates for the charges of president of the European Council, high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, or secretary-general for the Council Secretariat, without being appointed.[citation needed]

Since 30 June 2010, D'Alema has been the president of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), the political foundation of the Party of European Socialists.[6] He has been a friend of the Italian banker and Freemason Vincenzo De Bustis.[7]

Electoral history[edit]

Election House Constituency Party Votes Result
1987 Chamber of Deputies Lecce–Brindisi–Taranto PCI 115,784 checkY Elected
1992 Chamber of Deputies Lecce–Brindisi–Taranto PDS 30,819 checkY Elected
1994 Chamber of Deputies Casarano PDS 24,018 checkY Elected
1996 Chamber of Deputies Casarano PDS 38,077 checkY Elected
2001 Chamber of Deputies Casarano DS 38,204 checkY Elected
2004 European Parliament Southern Italy Ulivo 836,707 checkY Elected
2006 Chamber of Deputies Apulia Ulivo [a] checkY Elected
2008 Chamber of Deputies Apulia PD [a] checkY Elected
2018 Senate of the Republic Nardò LeU 10,552 ☒N Not elected
  1. ^ a b Elected in a closed list proportional representation system.

First-past-the-post elections[edit]

1994 Italian general election (C): Casarano
Candidate Coalition Party Votes %
Massimo D'Alema Progressives PDS 24,018 34.80
Lorenzo Emilio Ria Pact for Italy PS 20,908 30.29
Massimo Basurto Pole of Good Government FI 20,652 29.92
Others 3,437 4.98
Total 69,015 100.0
Turnout 75,660 77.94
Source: Ministry of the Interior
1996 Italian general election (C): Casarano
Candidate Coalition Party Votes %
Massimo D'Alema The Olive Tree PDS 38,077 55.75
Luciano Sardelli Pole for Freedoms FI 30,218 44.25
Total 68,295 100.0
Turnout 74,404 74.42
Centre-left hold
Source: Ministry of the Interior
2001 Italian general election (C): Casarano
Candidate Coalition Party Votes %
Massimo D'Alema The Olive Tree DS 38,204 51.49
Alfredo Mantovano House of Freedoms FI 33,666 45.37
Leonardo Tunno FT 870 1.17
Pantaleo Gianfreda IdV 839 1.13
Roberto Mancuso LB 622 0.84
Total 74,201 100.0
Turnout 79,169 75.99
Centre-left hold
Source: Ministry of the Interior
2018 Italian general election (S): Nardò
Candidate Coalition Party Votes %
Barbara Lezzi M5S 107,722 39.88
Luciano Cariddi Centre-right UDC 95,081 35.20
Teresa Bellanova Centre-left PD 46,891 17.36
Massimo D'Alema Free and Equal MDP 10,552 3.91
Others 9,881 3.65
Total 270,127 100.0
Turnout 282,226 70.51
Source: Ministry of the Interior



  • 1975–1980: National Secretary of the FGCI
  • 1981–1986: Regional Secretary of the PCI in Apulia
  • 1986–1989: editor of the daily newspaper L'Unità
  • 1986–1992: Member of the PCI/PDS national secretariat
  • 1992–1994: chairman of the PDS members of Parliament
  • 1994–1999: leader of the PDS-DS
  • Chairman of the DS
  • Since 1996: vice-chairman of the Socialist International



See also[edit]


D'Alema published eight books, half of which with Mondadori, which is controlled by Fininvest, the family holding company of Silvio Berlusconi.

  • Dialogo su Berlinguer ("Dialogue on Berlinguer"), with Paul Ginsborg, Giunti, 1994, ISBN 88-09-20545-6;
  • Un paese normale. La sinistra e il futuro dell'Italia ("A normal country. The left wing and Italy's future"), Mondadori, 1995, ISBN 88-04-40847-2;
  • Progettare il futuro ("Shaping the future"), Bompiani, 1996, ISBN 88-452-2883-5;
  • La sinistra nell'Italia che cambia ("The left wing in the changing Italy"), Feltrinelli, 1997, ISBN 88-07-47013-6
  • La grande occasione. L'Italia verso le riforme ("The great chance. Italy towards reforms"), Mondadori, 1997, ISBN 88-04-42161-4;
  • Parole a vista ("Words on sight"), with Enrico Ghezzi [it], Bompiani, 1998, ISBN 88-452-3777-X;
  • Kosovo. Gli italiani e la guerra ("Kosovo. Italians and war"), with Federico Rampini, Mondadori, 1999, ISBN 88-04-47302-9;
  • Oltre la paura ("Beyond fear"), Mondadori, 2002, ISBN 88-04-51206-7.


  1. ^ a b c "Page on D'Alema at Chamber of Deputies website". Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Ue, un posto per il leader maxi o D'Alema". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Italy to send up to 3,000 troops to Lebanon, largest pledge so far". Haaretz. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2006.
  4. ^ Smith, Craig S. (24 August 2006). "France Pledges More Troops to Lebanon". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  5. ^ "As concerned Europeans we urge eurozone leaders to unite, 12 October 2011". 12 October 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  6. ^ Massimo D'ALEMA : President of FEPS Archived 23 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  7. ^ Alberto Statera (27 November 2007). "The Italian belligerant brotherhood obliged to a ceased-fire". La (in Italian). London. Archived from the original on 14 December 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by Director of L'Unità
Succeeded by
Renzo Foa
Party political offices
Preceded by Secretary of the Democratic Party of the Left
Party abolished
New political party Secretary of the Democrats of the Left
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Giglia Tedesco Tatò
President of the Democrats of the Left
Party abolished
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Italy
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Prime Minister of Italy
With Francesco Rutelli

Title next held by
Angelino Alfano
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by