Nicola Zingaretti

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Nicola Zingaretti
Nicola Zingaretti 2012 crop.jpg
19th President of Lazio
Assumed office
26 February 2013
Preceded byRenata Polverini
President of the Province of Rome
In office
28 April 2008 – 29 December 2012
Preceded byEnrico Gasbarra
Succeeded byUmberto Postiglione
(Prefectural Commissioner)
Member of the European Parliament
for Central Italy
In office
20 July 2004 – 16 June 2008
President of the International Union
of Socialist Youth
In office
15 March 1995 – 6 April 1997
Preceded byRoger Hällhag
Succeeded byUmberto Gentiloni
Secretary of the Left Youth
In office
12 February 1992 – 14 March 1995
Preceded byGianni Cuperlo
Succeeded byGiulio Calvisi
Personal details
Born (1965-10-11) 11 October 1965 (age 53)
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Political partyItalian Communist Party
(before 1991)
Democratic Party of the Left
(1991–1998)
Democrats of the Left
(1998–2007)
Democratic Party
(2007–present)
Spouse(s)Cristina Zingaretti
Children2
RelativesLuca Zingaretti (brother)
WebsiteOfficial website

Nicola Zingaretti (Italian pronunciation: [niˈkɔːla dziŋɡaˈretti]; Rome, 11 October 1965) is an Italian politician, founding member of the Democratic Party and current President of Lazio since 2013.[1]

During 1990s, he was an prominent European youth leader, serving as National Secretary of the Left Youth, the youth-wing of the Democratic Party of the Left and as President of International Union of Socialist Youth.[2] In 2004, Zingaretti became a Member of the European Parliament for the centre-left coalition The Olive Tree.[3] From 2008 to 2013, he served as President of the Province of Rome.[4]

Zingaretti is considered a social democrat and one of the most prominent members of the party's left-wing.[5] Moreover, he is the first President of Lazio to be re-elected after a first five years term.[6]

Early life[edit]

Nicola Zingaretti was born in Rome in 1965, where he grew up in a middle-class family. Zingaretti's mother is an Italian Jew and on 16 October 1943 managed to escape from the Nazis with her mother while her grandmother Ester Della Torre was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp, where she died after a few days.[7][8] He has one sister Angela and an older brother Luca, who later became a famous actor, mostly known for playing Salvo Montalbano in Inspector Montalbano mystery series.[9]

While he was attending the lyceum in 1982, Zingaretti started his commitment in associations taking part in the peace movements. Moreover, at 17 years old he was one of the founders of the anti-racist association "Black and not only" (Nero e non solo), whose main aims were to promote liberal immigration politics to create a multicultural and multiethnic society.[10] During these years he met his future wife Cristina, with whom he has now two daughters.[11]

Political career[edit]

Youth leader[edit]

Zingaretti started his political career within the ranks of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), of which, between 1985 and 1989, was the City Secretary for Rome. In the same years he also served as member of the National Board of Italian Communist Youth Federation (FGCI), which was led by Pietro Folena.[12] Zingaretti later became a member of PCI's heir, the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS).[13] In 1991 he was elected National Secretary of Left Youth (Sinistra Giovanile), the youth wing of the PDS. In the following year he was elected in the Rome City Council.[14] During these years, he became a strong advocate of sustainable development and environmental protection; he also promoted many events against mafia and organized both the first "Antimafia Youth Camp" in San Vito Lo Capo and numerous initiatives in memory of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, the two anti-mafia magistrates who were assassinated in 1992.[15][16]

From 1995 to 1997, he was President of the International Union of Socialist Youth and Vice President of the Socialist International. In these years, he was committed in rebuilding links with the social democratic parties and other democratic and progressive youth organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following the signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1996, he spoke to the UN General Assembly for the World Youth Year, as a Representative on the UN Committee.

In 1998, at thirty-three years old Zingaretti joined the Commission to draw up the socialist political platform for the new century, "Global Progress", chaired by Felipe González and composed, among others, by Martine Aubry, Shimon Peres and Ricardo Lagos. He was also committed in promoting the peace process between Israel and Palestine, organizing many initiatives to support dialogue between young wings of the Israeli Labour Party and Fatah.[17]

From 1998 to 2000, he served as international relations spokesman for the Democrats of the Left (DS), the heirs of the PDS, and in 1998 he organized the Congress of European Socialists, in Milan. In 1999 he took part in the Democrats of the Left delegation, along with Secretary Walter Veltroni, which visited Burma in support of the National League for Democracy and met the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 Aung San Suu Kyi.[18] In the same year, he organized the journey of the Dalai Lama in Rome.[19]

In 2000, Zingaretti was elected Provincial Secretary of Democrats of the Left for Rome. In the following year he was one of the main promoters of Walter Veltroni's candidacy for Mayor of Rome, contributing to his victory. Zingaretti was among the protagonists of a season of important results for the centre-left and for the Democrats of the Left: in 2003, after eight years, the DS became again the largest party in the capital city, defeating the centre-right in the whole province of Rome.[20]

Member of the European Parliament[edit]

Zingaretti with Mayor Gianni Alemanno, Governor Piero Marrazzo and President Giorgio Napolitano in 2008

In March 2004, Zingaretti run in the European election for the list United in the Olive Tree. He gained more than 213,000 preferences and was elected Member of the European Parliament. During the first meeting of the Italian delegation he was appointed President. He was also a member of the Committee on Development and Committee on International Trade. He also took part in the interparliamentary delegations for relations with the Korean Peninsula, Israel and in the parliamentary intergroup "Volunteering", "Disability", "LGBT rights" and "Tibet".[21]

From 2005 to 2007, he was rapporteur for the European Parliament on the directive IPRED2 about criminal sanctions for the protection of intellectual property rights and succeeded in pushing through a bill which uniformed the criminal sanctions in all EU Member States. The directive opposes criminal penalties for counterfeiters who import illegal and dangerous goods from countries outside the EU. The approval of the directive had a recognition by the International Herald Tribune and a MEP Award nomination, a prestigious honor that is given annually to the most deserving MEPs.

On 18 November 2006, Zingaretti was elected Regional Secretary of the DS for Lazio while on 14 October 2007 was elected Regional Secretary of the new-formed Democratic Party with 282,000 votes (85.31%). On 16 June 2008, he resigned as MEP to assume the office of President of the Province of Rome.[22]

President of the Province of Rome[edit]

On 28 April 2008, Zingaretti was elected President of the Province of Rome winning 51.48% of the vote.[23]

Zingaretti with President Napolitano in 2012

In 2010, Zingaretti refused to run as centre-left candidate in regional election and for this was heavily criticized by some members of his party, like the Mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi.[24] Few months later during the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Liberation Day on 25 April 2010, Zingaretti participated together with the new president of Lazio Renata Polverini at an event organized in Rome at Porta San Paolo. However, objects, slogans and insults were thrown toward the stage, contesting Polverini and his political background in the right-wing and Zingaretti was hit in the face by a lemon.[25] After a few minutes, Zingaretti and Polverini were forced to abandon the event.[26]

Zingaretti's administration promoted the "ProvinciaWiFi" project, which consisted in the installation in squares, libraries and meeting places of the provincial territory, WiFi devices for free access to the Internet. In 2011, he inaugurated Porta Futuro, a center for orientation, training and work. Born in the wake of "Port 22" of Barcelona, the new structure, located in the district of Testaccio in Rome, managed the empowerment of citizens and businesses of the province of Rome.[27] His administration also promoted a law which legalized the condom distributors in schools of Rome; these bill created lot criticisms from the Catholic Church.[28][29]

On 28 June 2012 at Casina Valadier in Rome, he announced his intention to run in the upcoming municipal election in Rome, to challenge the rightist outgoing mayor Gianni Alemanno;[30] this statement immediately found the opposition of many members of his own party.[31] The official candidacy took place on 16 July during an event in Piazza San Cosimato in Trastevere district, during which he announced his candidacy as Mayor of Rome.[32] However, on 24 September 2012, governor Renata Polverini, resigned after a controversy regarding the personal use of public money at the hand of some members of the coalition that supported her,[33] so on 4 October, Zingaretti retired his candidacy as Mayor, announcing his will to run as Preisdent of Lazio. On 7 December 2012, Zingaretti resigned as President of the Province of Rome, putting an end to his administration 5 months before the natural deadline, to run in the 2013 regional election.[34] The Prefectural Commissioner Umberto Postiglione replaced him in his office.[35]

President of Lazio[edit]

Zingaretti with President Sergio Mattarella in Rome, 2017

In the February 2013 election run against the centre-right candidate Francesco Storace, leader of the national conservative party The Right and supported by Silvio Berlusconi, the Five Star Movement's Davide Barillari and the notable lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, who was the candidate of the centrist Civic Choice.[36] Zingaretti won the election, gaining 1,329,643 votes (40.7%), against 29.3% of Storace, 20.2% of Barillari and 4.7% of Bongiorno.[37] The centre-left coalition gained 28 seats out of 51, winning a solid parliamentary majority.[38]

Under his presidency, the Regional Council approved a reform concerning live entertainments and cultural promotion,[39] established the "Cancer Registry" of the Lazio Region and established a regional fund in favor of people concerned by over-indebtedness or usury.[40][41] He also promoted a new legislation on historic houses and natural parks and the regional law concerning the cultivation of cannabis for commercial, food and environmental purposes.[42][43] The Council approved a new legislation on the so-called "ecomuseum",[44] passed the bill for the establishment of regional civil service and approved the new law for urban regeneration and building recovery.[45][46]

On 4 March 2018, Zingaretti was narrowly re-elected president with 1,018,736 votes (32.9%), defeating the centre-right candidate Stefano Parisi (31.2%) and the Five Star's Roberta Lombardi (27%). Despite the small margin of victory, Zingaretti's win was seen as a strong showing due to the poor electoral result of the centre-left coalition in the general election which was held in the same day.[47][48] After the election defeat, the Democratic leader, Matteo Renzi, resigned from secretary, his deputy Maurizio Martina started functioning as acting secretary and a new leadership election was called for early 2019.[49][50][51] On 7 July 2018, Nicola Zingaretti announced his intention to run as new party's leader.[52][53]

In August 2018, Zingaretti launched a political convention in support of his candidacy, named Piazza Grande ("Great Square"), which was held in Rome in October.[54]

Zingaretti's campaign was based on a social democratic platform, whose aim was to abandon the social liberal and centrist policies promoted by Matteo Renzi and to move the Democratic Party more on the left.[55] The campaign's main themes were social justice and fight to economic inequality.[56]

In September 2018, the Regional Council of Lazio approved a law containing urgent vaccine prevention measures that reintroduced the mandatory vaccination, keeping the number of mandatory vaccines to 12 and not allowing those who have not been vaccinated to attend school.[57] This law was introduced by the government of Paolo Gentiloni in early 2017 and treated to be abolish by Giulia Grillo, the new Minister of Health.[58][59][60]

On 1 December 2018, Zingaretti faced a motion of no confidence proposed by the centre-right coalition, which was rejected with votes 26 against and 22 in favor, with one no-vote from a Forza Italia member and three absents.[61]

Political views[edit]

Zingaretti is widely considered a social democratic and progressive politician.[62] He is a strong supporter of European federalism, but he had often criticized austerity measures adopted by European leaders during the Great Recession.[63][64] Zingaretti is in favour of the recognition of civil unions for same-sex couples and stepchild adoptions, a situation which occurs when at least one parent has children, from a previous relationship, that are not genetically related to the other parent.[65] He also supports advance healthcare directive and legalization of cannabis.[66][67]

During his career, Zingaretti was a strong advocate in the fight against economic inequality.[68][69] For his leftist ideas, some journalists and political analysts compared him to Jeremy Corbyn.[70][71]

Electoral history[edit]

2013 Lazio regional election
Candidate Party Votes %
Nicola Zingaretti Centre-left coalition 1,330,398 40.7
Francesco Storace Centre-right coalition 959,683 29.3
Davide Barillari Five Star Movement 661,865 20.2
Others 320,801 9.8
Total 3,272,742 100.0
2018 Lazio regional election
Candidate Party Votes %
Nicola Zingaretti Centre-left coalition 1,018,736 32.9
Stefano Parisi Centre-right coalition 964,757 31.2
Roberta Lombardi Five Star Movement 835,137 27.0
Others 275,406 8.9
Total 3,094,036 100.0

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Lazio, chi è il candidato del centrosinistra Nicola Zingaretti - LaPresse". 2 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Nicola ZINGARETTI - History of parliamentary service - MEPs - European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu.
  4. ^ "Zingaretti presenta la Giunta provinciale". 12 May 2008.
  5. ^ "Pd, Zingaretti pronto a correre per la segreteria. Orlando sta con lui. Calenda: "Fronte Repubblicano oltre attuali partiti" - Il Fatto Quotidiano". 27 June 2018.
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  8. ^ "Shoah: Luca e Nicola Zingaretti ricordano bisnonna deportata - Cronaca - ANSAMed.it". www.ansamed.info.
  9. ^ club, Camilleri fans. "Andrea Camilleri grande ufficiale". www.vigata.org.
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External links[edit]