Aldo Moro


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(b. 23 Sept. 1916, d. 9 May 1978).

Prime Minister of Italy 1963–8, 1974–6 Born in Puglia and raised as a devout and active Roman Catholic, he became president of the student chapter of the University of Bari, where he studied law. In 1939 he transferred to the University of Rome and became president of the National Catholic Universities' Student Federation. He then lectured in law at the University of Bari and, in 1945, was elected to the Constitutent Assembly as a member of the Christian Democratic Party (DC). A parliamentary Deputy from 1948, he was Minister of Justice (1955–7), of Education (1957–9), and of Foreign Affairs (1969–72, 1973–4). The leading figure of the left wing of the DC, as the party's secretary-general (1959–64) he steered it towards the left and thus enabled it to cooperate with the Italian Socialist Party from 1963 onwards. While he was Prime Minister, the first steps towards abolishing sharecropping were made in 1964, as the landless tenants were given cheap credit to enable them to become landowners in their own right. In response to socialist influence, in 1967 a five-year economic programme was established, though central planning instruments for its implementation were never used. On 16 March 1978, Moro was abducted by the Red Brigades, and he was found shot eight weeks later.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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