Giovanni Spadolini

Amintore Fanfani Italian Republican Party Francesco Cossiga
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Giovanni Spadolini
Giovanni Spadolini 2.jpg
44th Prime Minister of Italy
In office
28 June 1981 – 1 December 1982
PresidentAlessandro Pertini
Preceded byArnaldo Forlani
Succeeded byAmintore Fanfani
President of the Italian Senate
In office
2 July 1987 – 14 April 1994
Preceded byGiovanni Malagodi
Succeeded byCarlo Scognamiglio
Acting President of Italy
In office
28 April 1992 – 28 May 1992
Prime MinisterGiulio Andreotti
Preceded byFrancesco Cossiga
Succeeded byOscar Luigi Scalfaro
Minister of Defence
In office
4 August 1983 – 17 April 1987
Prime MinisterBettino Craxi
Preceded byLelio Lagorio
Succeeded byRemo Gaspari
Minister of Public Instruction
In office
20 March 1979 – 4 August 1979
Prime MinisterGiulio Andreotti
Preceded byMario Pedini
Succeeded bySalvatore Valitutti
Minister for Culture and Environment
In office
23 November 1974 – 12 February 1976
Prime MinisterAldo Moro
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byMario Pedini
Member of the Parliament
Senator for life
In office
2 May 1991 – 4 August 1994
Nominated byFrancesco Cossiga
Member of the Senate of the Republic
In office
25 May 1972 – 1 May 1991
Personal details
Born(1925-06-21)21 June 1925
Florence, Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy
Died4 August 1994(1994-08-04) (aged 69)
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Political partyRepublican Fascist Party
Italian Republican Party
Alma materUniversity of Florence
ProfessionTeacher, journalist, historian

Giovanni Spadolini (21 June 1925 – 4 August 1994) was an Italian Republican politician, the 44th Prime Minister of Italy, the first since 1945 to not be a member of Christian Democrats, and a newspaper editor, journalist and historian.

Early life

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.[1]

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.[2] 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).

As a journalist, he sometimes used the pseudonym Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (Giovanni of the Black Bands). Prior to entering politics he was editor of Il Corriere della Sera from 1968 to 1972.

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.

Prime Minister

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,[3] 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.

Later life

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.

Electoral history

Election House Constituency Party Votes Result
1972 Senate of the Republic Milan I PRI 7,231 ☑Y Elected
1976 Senate of the Republic Milan I PRI 6,862 ☑Y Elected
1979 Senate of the Republic Milan IV PRI 10,134 ☑Y Elected
1983 Senate of the Republic Milan I PRI 13,405 ☑Y Elected
1987 Senate of the Republic Milan I PRI 7,745 ☑Y Elected


  1. ^ Spadolini, Giovanni (15 January 1944). "Responsabilità".
  2. ^ "Israele accoglie il "vecchio amico" Spadolini". 23 March 1992.
  3. ^ "Chi era Stefano Gaj Taché". 3 February 2015.