Giulio Andreotti

(b. 1919)

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  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)


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(b. 14 Jan. 1919).

Prime Minister of Italy 1972–3, 1976–9, 1989–92 As a law student at the University of Rome, where he met Moro and Montini (Pope Paul VI), he became President of the Italian Catholic University Federation. Subsequently, as a protégé of De Gasperi since 1944 he rose quickly within the Christian Democratic Party (DC). He was Minister of the Interior (1954), of Finance (1955–8), of Treasury (1958–9), of Defence (1959–66), and of Industry (1966–9), and formed his first government in 1972. His second tenure of office was more successful as a result of a pact with the Italian Communist Party, which promised to tolerate his government in return for concessions from the DC. At the same time, his government struggled to find a solution to the terrorist crisis which peaked with Moro's assassination. He was Foreign Minister in 1983–9. His last period as Prime Minister was marked by old-fashioned power-broking between the parties within his five-party coalition, leading Andreotti to abandon the cautious government reforms begun by his predecessors during the 1980s. His personality and his success epitomized the postwar Italian political system, marked by compromise, pragmatism, and an inability to overcome corruption. In fact, he stood trial from 1993 on charges of corruption (Tangentopoli) and membership of the Mafia. He was cleared of the charges in 1999, and a later retrial confirmed the verdict.

Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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