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Giorgio Napolitano, former Italian president, dies aged 98

Napolitano served as president for 2 phrases and was an early backer of European integration.

Giorgio Napolitano, the primary former Communist to rise to Italy’s presidency, died on Friday, the Quirinal presidential palace mentioned.


Napolitano, who was additionally the primary particular person to be elected twice to the largely ceremonial presidency, was 98-years-old. An announcement issued Friday night time by the presidential palace confirmed Italian information experiences of the dying of Napolitano, who had been ailing in a Rome hospital for weeks.

The present president, Sergio Mattarella, in a message hailed his predecessor as head of state, saying that Napolitano’s life “mirrored a big a part of the historical past” of Italy within the second half of the twentieth century.

As a distinguished member of what had lengthy been the most important Communist get together within the West, Napolitano had advocated positions that always veered from get together orthodoxy. He sought dialogue with Italian and European socialists to finish his get together’s isolation, and he was an early backer of European integration.

A life in politics

Born in Naples on June 29, 1925, Napolitano served because the eleventh president of the Italian Republic from 2006 to 2015, and was the primary head of state to be elected for a second mandate in 2013, in addition to being the nation’s first post-Communist president.

He was a former militant in, after which chief of, the reformist wing of the Italian Communist Get together (PCI) till the institution of the Democratic Get together of the Left (PDS) in 1991. As inside minister within the 1996-1998 centre-left authorities of Romano Prodi, he gave his title to Italy’s first complete immigration legislation, the so-called ‘Turco-Napolitano’, in 1998.

His lengthy political profession additionally took him to Strasbourg as a member of the European Parliament from 1989 to 1992, earlier than his election as Speaker of Italy’s Decrease Home from 1992 till 1994.

His dominance of the political scene in Italy – and particularly a key function in birthing the emergency Mario Monti-led authorities amid a sovereign debt disaster in 2011 – earned him the nickname King George.

This was not affectionate for a lot of on the proper who mentioned he helped engineer the tip of Silvio Berlusconi’s last authorities, allegedly colluding with European authorities.

Italy’s hottest politicians

However he commonly topped polls of Italy’s hottest politicians.

In 2005 Napolitano was appointed life Senator by then President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, his predecessor as head of state and guarantor of Italy’s post-war anti-fascist structure.

A life-long Anglophile, Napolitano spoke fluent English and lectured at a number of American universities within the late Nineteen Seventies.


Throughout his lengthy prominence within the PCI he usually broke with get together orthodoxy and criticised the Soviet Union, specifically over its invasion of Afghanistan in 1980.

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