Giovanni Spadolini (21 June 1925 – 4 August 1994) was an Italian politician and statesman, who served as the 44th Prime Minister of Italy. He has been a leading figure in the Republican Party and the first head of a government to not be a member of Christian Democrats since 1945. He was also a newspaper editor, journalist and historian. He is considered a highly respected intellectual for his literary works and his cultural dimension.
|Prime Minister of Italy|
28 June 1981 – 1 December 1982
|Preceded by||Arnaldo Forlani|
|Succeeded by||Amintore Fanfani|
|President of the Italian Senate|
2 July 1987 – 14 April 1994
|Preceded by||Giovanni Malagodi|
|Succeeded by||Carlo Scognamiglio|
|Acting President of Italy|
28 April 1992 – 28 May 1992
|Prime Minister||Giulio Andreotti|
|Preceded by||Francesco Cossiga|
|Succeeded by||Oscar Luigi Scalfaro|
|Minister of Defence|
4 August 1983 – 17 April 1987
|Prime Minister||Bettino Craxi|
|Preceded by||Lelio Lagorio|
|Succeeded by||Remo Gaspari|
|Minister of Public Education|
20 March 1979 – 4 August 1979
|Prime Minister||Giulio Andreotti|
|Preceded by||Mario Pedini|
|Succeeded by||Salvatore Valitutti|
|Minister for Culture and Environment|
21 December 1974 – 12 February 1976
|Prime Minister||Aldo Moro|
|Succeeded by||Mario Pedini|
|Born||21 June 1925|
Florence, Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy
|Died||4 August 1994 (aged 69)|
Rome, Lazio, Italy
|Political party||Italian Republican Party|
|Alma mater||University of Florence|
|Profession||Teacher, journalist, historian|
Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Florence, he was the author of numerous historical works. He was also a journalist and editor-in-chief of the Bolognese newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, then of the Milanese newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.
Spadolini was the first Italian Minister of Culture and Environment from 1974 to 1976. He became Prime Minister in 1981 and he led two successive cabinets which were supported by a coalition of parties in Parliament but this only lasted a few months. He was Minister of Defence in the governments headed by Socialist leader Bettino Craxi from 1983 to 1987 before being elected President of the Senate. In 1991, Spadolini was appointed Lifetime Senator by President Francesco Cossiga.
Spadolini was born in Florence in 1925. In his youth he worked in a public library. Spadolini was a republican and fascist-aligned activist, and wrote for the periodical Italia e Civiltà ("Italy and Civilisation"), he was close to Giovanni Gentile, and a number of times Spadolini expressed his anti-Masonry, anti-liberalism and anti-semitism views. In 1944, during the Italian Civil War, he joined the Italian Social Republic.
During the post-war period (from 1945 to 1950) Spadolini revised the majority of his old ideas, and became a moderate conservative to liberal. He also rejected his old anti-semitism for Zionism. He studied law at the University of Florence and shortly after graduation was appointed Professor of Contemporary History in the Faculty of Political Science. He also became a political columnist for several newspapers, such as Il Borghese, Il Messaggero and Il Mondo, becoming editor-in-chief of the Bologna paper Il Resto del Carlino in 1955, doubling its circulation during his tenure. In 1968, Spadolini moved to Milan where he took over the editorship of Italy's largest newspaper, Corriere della Sera, a position he held until leaving journalism to enter politics. In 1972, he was elected as a senator, going on to serve as minister of the environment and then minister of education. Then in 1979, he was appointed secretary of the small but powerful Italian Republican Party (PRI).
Giovanni Spadolini served as Ministro dei Beni e delle Attività culturali (Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities) from 1974 to 1976.
He was leader of the Italian Republican Party (PRI) from 1979 to 1987, during the 10th and 11th Legislatures.
He served as Prime Minister of Italy from 1981 to 1982, the first PM since 1945 not to be a member of the Christian Democrats. He pledged to fight corruption (in particular a scandal involving certain Italian political figures connected with a Masonic lodge known as P2) and mounting terrorist violence.
In foreign policy, he was a non-interventionist but also moderately Americanist. In particular, he shifted away from Italy's previous pro-Arab policy, refusing to meet Yasser Arafat during his official visit to Italy to protest the murder of Stefano Gaj Taché, an Italian Jewish child, by PLO terrorists, and suggesting that the Bologna train station bombing may have been perpetrated by the PLO and Gaddafi's Libya, in spite of a majority accusing neo-fascists.
In 1982, after a political crisis between the Minister of the Treasury Beniamino Andreatta (DC) and the Minister of Finance Rino Formica (PSI), Spadolini resigned and formed a new cabinet identical to the former, which collapsed in November when Bettino Craxi's Socialist Party withdrew its support.
However, under his rule, the PRI obtained 5% of all votes for the first time in the 1983 general election.
From 1987 to April 1994, he was President of the Italian Senate. He became Acting President of Italy on 28 April 1992, upon the resignation of President Francesco Cossiga, for a month. Following the electoral success of Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, he lost the chairmanship of the Senate to Carlo Scognamiglio Pasini by a single vote. He died four months later in Rome.
|1972||Senate of the Republic||Milan I||PRI||7,231||Elected|
|1976||Senate of the Republic||Milan I||PRI||6,862||Elected|
|1979||Senate of the Republic||Milan IV||PRI||10,134||Elected|
|1983||Senate of the Republic||Milan I||PRI||13,405||Elected|
|1987||Senate of the Republic||Milan I||PRI||7,745||Elected|
- Media related to Giovanni Spadolini at Wikimedia Commons
| Director of the Resto del Carlino
| Director of the Nuova Antologia
| Director of the Corriere della Sera
| President of the Bocconi University
|New office|| Minister for Culture and Environment
| Minister of Public Education
| Prime Minister of Italy
| Minister of Defence
| President of the Senate
| President of Italy
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
|Party political offices|
| Secretary of the Italian Republican Party
Giorgio La Malfa