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Marco Minniti (born Domenico Luca Marco Minniti Italian pronunciation: [ˈmarko minˈniːti]; 6 June 1956) is an Italian politician, member of the Democratic Party, who served in the government of Italy as Minister of the Interior from 12 December 2016 to 1 June 2018. Previously, he was one of the most prominent councilors of former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Massimo D'Alema.[1][2]

Marco Minniti
Marco Minniti Official.jpg
Minister of the Interior
In office
12 December 2016 – 1 June 2018
Prime MinisterPaolo Gentiloni
Preceded byAngelino Alfano
Succeeded byMatteo Salvini
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
23 March 2018
In office
30 May 2001 – 14 March 2013
Member of the Senate of the Republic
In office
15 March 2013 – 22 March 2018
Personal details
Domenico Minniti

(1956-06-06) 6 June 1956 (age 63)
Reggio Calabria, Italy
Political partyPCI (1980–1991)
PDS (1991–1998)
DS (1998–2007)
PD (2007–present)
Spouse(s)Mariangela Sera
Alma materUniversity of Messina (MA)

Due to his policies on immigration and security, Minniti has been often criticized by left-wing intellectuals and writers, like Roberto Saviano,[3] and labeled as a strongman.[4][5][6] He has been sometimes nicknamed "The Lord of the Spies",[7] due to his long-time experience in coordinating the secret services in almost all the centre-left governments.[8][9] While he was in office, some political commentators described him as the most powerful and prominent man in Italy.[10][11]

Early lifeEdit

Marco Minniti was born in Reggio Calabria in Southern Italy in 1956. His father was a general of the Italian Army.[12]

Minniti stated that when he was young he wanted become an aviator of the Italian Air Force, but his mother forbade it, so at 17 years old he joined the Italian Communist Party, as a protest against his parents.[13]

During 1970s he graduated in philosophy at the University of Messina. In these years he met his future wife, Mariangela Sera, with whom he has two daughters.[14]

Early political careerEdit

Minniti mature in Calabria most of his political education; during 1970s he became a member of the Italian Communist Party led by Enrico Berlinguer. In 1986 he served on the Commission for Labour's issues of the Communist Party. In 1986 he became secretary of the PCI provincial federation of Reggio Calabria.[15]

In 1992 he became regional secretary of the Calabrian Democratic Party of the Left, a position he left in 1994 when he was appointed in the national leadership of the party. With the foundation of the Democrats of the Left, in February 1998, he was appointed secretary to the party's organization.

Minniti was candidated in the 1996 general election for The Olive Tree coalition of Romano Prodi, in Calabria, but he was not elected. However during this period he became a close collaborator of Massimo D'Alema, leader of the PDS.[16]

From 1998 to 2001 he hold the offices of Undersecretary in the centre-left cabinets of D'Alema and Giuliano Amato.[17]

In 2001 general election Minniti was elected for the first time to the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

Deputy Minister and SecretaryEdit

In the 2006 general election he was re-elected in Calabria in the Chamber of Deputies and after The Union victory, Minniti was appointed Deputy Minister of the Interior in the Prodi II Cabinet.

After the primary election of 14 October 2007 he was elected regional secretary of the Democratic Party in Calabria, an office who held until 2009. In the general election of 2008 he was elected for a third term in his constituency.

From 2007 to 2013, Minniti was a member of the National Direction of the PD, under the leaderships of Walter Veltroni, Dario Franceschini and Pier Luigi Bersani.[18]

In 2013 general election Minniti was elected in the Senate of the Republic for the first time.

On 17 May 2013 he was appointed Secretary to the Prime Minister's Office in Letta Cabinet with responsibility for intelligence services. Minniti hold this office also in the government of Matteo Renzi,[19] becoming one of the most prominent councilors of the Prime Minister.[20]

Minister of the InteriorEdit

Marco Minniti with his German counterpart Thomas de Maizière, in October 2017.

On 12 December 2016, Minniti was appointed new Minister of the Interior in the government of Paolo Gentiloni.[21]

On 23 December 2016, Anis Amri, the perpetrator of the Berlin attack on 19 December, was killed in a shootout with police in front of the Sesto San Giovanni railway station, near Milan, Italy. The suspect had just arrived by train from Chambéry, France (via Turin). During a routine patrol, two police officers asked to search his backpack after he said he did not have any identity documents. Amri then pulled out a gun and shot one of the officers in the shoulder. The other officer responded by shooting Amri.[22][23][24] Minniti stated that a policeman had been hospitalized with a shoulder injury.[25]

One of the first actions as minister was the reopening and increase of the Identification and Expulsion Centres (CIE) and the doubling of the expulsions of irregular immigrants; this measures was supported by the Chief of Police Franco Gabrielli,[26] but was harshly criticized by the left-wing opposition of Italian Left, and also by intellectuals and writers like Roberto Saviano.[27]

On 9 January 2017, Minniti traveled to Libya to begin the negotiations with President Fayez al-Sarraj to sign a new agreement on repatriation of irregular immigrants. On this occasion it was reopened the Italian embassy in Tripoli that, previously, had been closed.[28]

In May 2017 Minniti met the Interior Ministers of Niger, Chiad and Libya, with whom he announced that Italy will build migration centers in North Africa to stop the migration through the Mediterranean Sea.[29] However, Minniti was often accused by his critics of being responsible for severe human rights violations of refugees trapped in Libyan detention centers.[30]

Marco Minniti remained in office until 1 June 2018, when Matteo Salvini was appointed new Interior Minister in the government of Giuseppe Conte.[31]

NGO CodeEdit

Minniti with EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, in 2017.

In July 2017 he promoted the so-called "Minniti Code", which must be subscribed by the NGOs that are involved in rescuing asylum seekers in the Mediterranean.[32] Among other things, the code forbids NGO vessels entering Libyan territorial waters.[33] Minniti warned those NGOs who did not sign the pact that they have set themselves "outside of the organised system for rescue at sea".

Some NGOs refused to sign the new code of conduct; Médecins Sans Frontières was the first charity to officially announce its 'no' to the code, saying that there were no conditions under which to sign. Facing growing public discontent and scrutiny by the Italian, Libyan, and EU authorities, MSF had to suspend its activities in the Mediterranean sea.[34] The German NGO, Sea Watch, said that the code was "largely illegal" and "will not save lives but will have the opposite effect".[35]

Macerata attackEdit

In his last year as Minister of the Interior, Minniti faced the important issue related to a right-wing terrorist shooting occurred in Macerata by a 28-year-old man, inviting political parties to tone moderation and harshly condemning the attack, saying that no political party must "ride the hate".[36]

After the governmentEdit

On 18 November 2018, Minniti announced his candidacy for the 2019 leadership election to become the new party's secretary.[37] Minniti was supported by Matteo Renzi, former Prime Minister and party's leader, who led a liberal and centrist faction within the PD.[38] He was also supported by former Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, who was considered by many a strong potential candidate for the leadership election, and the former Minister of Economy and Finance, Pier Carlo Padoan.[39] However, on 5 December, 17 days after having announced his candidacy, Minniti withdrew from the race, saying to do so in order to facilitate the path of the party primaries and with the sole intent to encourage the election of an authoritative secretary.[40]


  1. ^ Marco Minniti: "È Renzi il vero riformista, il Pd non può finire perché qualcuno non è d'accordo sulla data del congresso"
  2. ^ Marco Minniti, il ritratto: il ministro di destra che come tutti i comunisti non sa di esserlo
  3. ^ Roberto Saviano durissimo sul decreto Minniti: "Se avete rispetto per l'uomo, scappate dal Pd"
  4. ^ Marco Minniti, l'uomo forte di Gentiloni
  5. ^ Marco Minniti, l'ascesa felpata dell'uomo forte dei servizi
  6. ^ La “dottrina Minniti” per sottrarre alla destra il tema della sicurezza
  7. ^ Italy’s ‘Lord of the
  8. ^ Il signore delle spie tra lotta all’Isis e migranti
  9. ^ Marco Minniti, il ministro di ferro più amato dagli italiani: per questo alle prossime elezioni...
  10. ^ Marco Minniti, fenomenologia di un potente
  11. ^ I migranti, la sinistra e la vera sfida di Minniti
  12. ^ Biografia di Marco Minniti
  13. ^ Marco Minniti "fascista"? La clamorosa confessione privata: "Perché sono entrato nel Partito comunista"
  14. ^ Marco Minniti biografia 2017 curriculum sposato figli Ministro Interno
  15. ^ Marco Minniti, la biografia del nuovo ministro dell’Interno
  16. ^ Chi è Marco Minniti, l’uomo dietro le quinte della sinistra italiana?
  17. ^ Minister dell'Interno – Ministro
  18. ^ PD: nomina di rilievo per il deputato calabrese Minniti
  19. ^ La Germania espelle il capo degli 007 Usa a Berlino
  20. ^ Marco Minniti, il ministro in segreto. Ecco quanto conta il sottosegretario
  21. ^ Governo: la squadra di Gentiloni, novita' e conferme
  22. ^ "ISIS-linked news agency releases video of Berlin attacker swearing allegiance to the radical group". Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  23. ^ Bonini, Carlo; Pisa, Massimo. "L'attentatore di Berlino Anis Amri ucciso a Sesto: ha urlato "Allah Akbar"" (in Italian). Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  24. ^ "Berlin attack suspect Anis Amri killed in Milan". 23 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016 – via
  25. ^ "Innenminister bestätigt: Amri in Italien erschossen" (in German). Retrieved 2016-12-23.
  26. ^ Migranti irregolari, riaprono i Cie: "Raddoppieremo le espulsioni"
  27. ^ Roberto Saviano durissimo sul decreto Minniti: "Se avete rispetto per l'uomo, scappate dal Pd"
  28. ^ Immigrati, Minniti in Libia: primo passo per nuova cooperazione
  29. ^ Migranti, vertice a 4 con la Libia: l'Italia costruirà centri in Ciad e Niger
  30. ^ Italy’s ‘minister of fear’
  31. ^ "Governo Conte, chi sono i ministri: da Di Maio e Salvini (con i fedelissimi) agli "istituzionali" come Moavero. Poi il prof di educazione fisica e il generale che indagò su Terra dei Fuochi - Il Fatto Quotidiano". 1 June 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  32. ^ Migranti, codice Ong: Msf non firma. Minniti: "Chi non sottoscrive regolamento è fuori"
  33. ^ Minniti says debate on NGO code over
  34. ^
  35. ^ Italy’s ‘code of conduct’ for NGOs refused by 6/8 charities
  36. ^ "Macerata: Minniti, nessuno cavalchi odio (Macerata: Minniti, no one shall ride hate)". (in Italian). 3 February 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  37. ^ Marco Minniti si candida a segretario del PD
  38. ^ Pd, Minniti pronto alla sfida ma teme l'abbraccio di Renzi
  39. ^ Congresso Pd, Carlo Calenda appoggia Marco Minniti
  40. ^ Primarie Pd, Marco Minniti verso l’addio: l’ex ministro non si fida di Matteo Renzi