* 1996 Italian election * 1999 European election * 2006 Italian election
* POLITICAL CAREERR
* First * Second
* EUROPEAN COMMISSION
ROMANO PRODI OMRI (Italian pronunciation: ( listen ); born 9
August 1939) is an Italian politician who served as the 10th President
European Commission from 1999 to 2004. He served twice as Prime
A former professor of economics and international advisor to Goldman
Sachs , Prodi ran in 1996 as lead candidate of The Olive Tree
coalition, winning the general election and serving as Prime Minister
Up to this time, he has been the only one lead candidate of Italian centre-left who won elections and managed to form a government without the need of opponents' parliamentary support.
On 14 October 2007, Prodi became the first President of the
Democratic Party upon foundation of the party. On 12 September 2008,
United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon selected Prodi as
president of the
* 1 Personal life * 2 Academic career
* 3 Early political career
* 3.1 Ministry of Industry and Moro\'s kidnapping
* 4 Business and administrative career
* 4.1 First term as IRI President * 4.2 Other offices * 4.3 Second term as IRI President
* 5 First term as Prime Minister
* 5.1 The Olive Tree and 1996 election * 5.2 Economic policy * 5.3 Foreign policy * 5.4 Resignation
* 7 Return to Italian politics
* 7.1 The Union primary election
* 8 Second term as Prime Minister
* 8.1 Italian 2006 general election * 8.2 Government formation * 8.3 Foreign policy * 8.4 Coalition\'s troubles * 8.5 2008 crisis and resignation
* 9 After the premiership
* 9.1 2013 presidential candidate
* 10 Honours and awards
* 10.1 Academic awards
* 11 See also * 12 Notes * 13 External links
Prodi was born in
Scandiano , in the province of
Prodi married Flavia Franzoni in 1969. He was married by Camillo
Ruini , now a well-known cardinal . They have two sons, Giorgio and
Antonio. He and his family still live in
After completing his secondary education at the Liceo Ludovico
Ariosto in Reggio Emilia, Prodi graduated in law at
In 1963 Prodi joined the Christian Democracy party. In the same year
he became a teaching assistant for
Beniamino Andreatta in the
Department of Economics and the Faculty of
Between 1974 and 1978 he chaired Il Mulino publishing house, in 1982 he became director of the magazines Energia and L'Industria. In 1981 he founded Nomisma, a company of economic studies and consultancy. He also cooperated with the newspapers Corriere della Sera and Il Sole 24 Ore .
Prodi has received almost 20 honorary degrees from institutions in Italy, and from the rest of Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa.
EARLY POLITICAL CAREER
Prodi's political career began as a left-of-centre reformist
Christian Democrat and a disciple of
Beniamino Andreatta , another
economist turned politician. In 1963 he was elected municipal
MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND MORO\'S KIDNAPPING
On 25 November 1978 Prodi was appointed Minister of Industry, Commerce and Craftmanship in the government of the Christian Democratic leader Giulio Andreotti . Even if he was a DC member, Prodi was widely considered a "technical minister".
As minister he promoted a law, known as "Prodi law', which aimed a regulating of the extraordinary state administration procedure for the rescue of large enterprises in crisis.
On 2 April 1978, Prodi and other teachers at the University of
The information was trusted and a police group made an armed blitz in
the town of Gradoli, 80 km from
Prodi spoke to the Italian parliament's commission about the case in
1981. In the notes of the Italian parliament commission on terrorism
the séance is described as a fake, used to hide the true source of
the information. In 1997
Giulio Andreotti declared that the
information came from the
Moro's widow later declared that she had repeatedly informed the police that a via Gradoli existed in Rome, but the investigators did not consider it; some replied to her that the street did not appear in Rome's maps. This is confirmed by other Moro relatives, but strongly denied by Francesco Cossiga , who served as Interior Minister during Moro's kidnapping.
Later, other Italian members of the European Commission claimed Prodi had invented this story to conceal the real source of the tip-off, which they believed t o have originated somewhere among the far-left Italian political groups.
This claim was further repeated by
Gerard Batten , the Member of the
BUSINESS AND ADMINISTRATIVE CAREER
In the seventies he had a first managerial assignment as president of
FIRST TERM AS IRI PRESIDENT
Prodi with Minister Luigi Granelli in 1985.
In 1982–1989 Prodi was appointed, by Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini , President of the influential state-owned industrial holding company Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI). He was the first economist to lead the IRI.
During his presidency Prodi approved the sale of twenty-nine
companies in the group (the largest one was
Thanks to Prodi's policies, in 1987, for the first time in more than a decade, the IRI was in profit .
After leaving his position in 1989, Prodi ran the
Through the late 1980s and early
SECOND TERM AS IRI PRESIDENT
In 1993 he was between the main candidates to become Prime Minister at the head of a technocratic government , but the Governor of the Bank of Italy Carlo Azeglio Ciampi was chosen for this office by President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro .
In 1993–1994 Prodi was appointed again President of the IRI, by
Ciampi, where he oversaw extensive privatization of public assets. For
his activities in this period Prodi would later twice come under
investigation – firstly for an alleged conflict of interest in
relation to contracts awarded to his own economic research company in
relation to the Italdel-
Prodi's former employer
FIRST TERM AS PRIME MINISTER
On 25 May 1994, Prodi went to Palazzo Chigi to announce his resignation as IRI President to the new Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi ; the resignation had been formalised on 31 May and became effective on 22 July.
On 11 August Prodi announced to the Gazzetta di Reggio of his intent to enter politics. A few months earlier, Prodi had rejected a proposal from the Italian People\'s Party (PPI) to run for the 1994 European election .
THE OLIVE TREE AND 1996 ELECTION
On 13 February 1995 Prodi, along with his close friend Arturo Parisi , founded his political alliance The Olive Tree . Prodi's aim was to build a centre-left coalition composed by centrist and leftist parties, opposed to the centre-right alliance led by Silvio Berlusconi, who resigned from the office of Prime Minister few weeks before, when Lega Nord withdrew his support to the government.
The movement was immediately supported by Mariotto Segni , leader of the centrist Segni Pact ; after few weeks the post-communist Democratic Party of the Left of Massimo D\'Alema , the PPI and the Federation of the Greens also joined the Olive Tree coalition.
On 19 February 1996, the outgoing Prime Minister Lamberto Dini announced that he would run in the election with a new party called Italian Renewal , allied with Prodi's Olive Tree rather than Berlusconi's Pole for Freedoms . Shortly after Berlusconi claimed that Dini "copied his electoral programme".
On election day, Prodi's Olive Tree coalition won over Berlusconi's Pole for Freedoms, becoming the first coalition composed by a post-communist party to win general election since the Second World War . In the Senate The Olive Tree obtained the majority, but in the Chamber it required the external support of Communist Refoundation Party .
On 17 May 1996, Prodi received from President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro the task of forming a new government.
Prodi's economic programme consisted in continuing the past
governments' work of restoration of the country's economic health, in
order to pursue the then seemingly unreachable goal of leading the
country within the strict
European Monetary System parameters in order
to allow the country to join the
During his first premiership, Prodi faced the Albanian civil war ;
his government proposed the so-called "Operation Alba" ("Sunrise"), a
multinational peacekeeping force sent to
Following the degenerating loss of administrative control by the
Government in the first days of March 1997, culminating in the
desertion of most Police and many Republican Guard and Army units,
leaving their armouries open to the inevitable looting which soon
followed, several Nations autonomously helped evacuate their
Nationals, causing wider concerns about the fate of others. The UN
Security Council therefore agreed United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1101 as a stop-gap operation to manage this and buy time,
laying the foundations for another International Organisation to
manage a planned reconstruction, which after six weeks of debate fell
Western European Union
The Italian 3rd Army Corps assumed responsibility for the stop-gap mission as Operation Alba, the first multinational Italian-led Mission since World War II. Eleven contributing European Nations brought humanitarian aid to a country that was in a dramatic economic and political situation.
Prodi's government fell in 1998 when the Communist Refoundation Party withdrew its external support. This led to the formation of a new government led by Massimo D\'Alema as Prime Minister. There are those who claim that D'Alema, along with People's Party leader Franco Marini , deliberately engineered the collapse of the Prodi government to become Prime Minister himself. As the result of a vote of no confidence in Prodi's government, D'Alema's nomination was passed by a single vote. This was the first occasion in the history of the Italian republic on which a vote of no confidence had ever been called; the Republic's many previous governments had been brought down by a majority "no" vote on some crucially important piece of legislation (such as the budget).
PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
In September 1999 Prodi, a strong supporter of European Integration , became President of the European Commission , thanks to the support of both the conservative European People\'s Party , the social-democratic Party of European Socialists and the centrist Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party in the European Parliament.
His commission took office on 13 September 1999 following the scandal and subsequent resignation of the Santer Commission which had damaged the reputation of the institution. It took over from the interim Marín Commission. The College consisted of 20 Commissioners which grew to 30 following the Enlargement of the European Union in 2004. It was the last commission to see two members allocated to the larger member states .
This commission (the 10th) saw in increase in power and influence
Amsterdam Treaty . Some in the media described president
Prodi as being the first "Prime Minister of the
It was during Prodi's presidency, in 2002, that eleven EU member states left their national currencies and adopted the euro as their single currency. This commission (the 10th) saw in increase in power and influence following Amsterdam Treaty .
The treaty was the result of long negotiations which began in
Messina, Sicily , on 2 June 1995, nearly forty years after the signing
of the Treaty of
Under this treaty the member states agreed to devolve certain powers
from national governments to the
Due to this increased power of the Commission President, some media described President Prodi as being the first "Prime Minister of the European Union".
As well as the enlargement and
It amended the
Maastricht Treaty (or the Treaty on European Union)
and the Treaty of
The entry into force of the treaty was in doubt for a time, after its initial rejection by Irish voters in a referendum in June 2001. This referendum result was reversed in a subsequent referendum held a little over a year later.
2004 ENLARGEMENT AND OF THE MANDATE
In 2004, his last year as Commission President, the European Union
was enlarged to admit several more member nations, most formerly part
of the Soviet bloc . It was the largest single expansion of the
The simultaneous accessions concerned the following countries
(sometimes referred to as the "A10" countries ):
Part of the same wave of enlargement was the accession of Bulgaria
The commission was due to leave office on 31 October 2004, but due to
opposition from the
RETURN TO ITALIAN POLITICS
THE UNION PRIMARY ELECTION
Shortly before the end of his term as President of the European
Commission, Prodi returned to national Italian politics at the helm of
the enlarged centre-left coalition, The Union .
Having no party of his own, in order to officially state his candidacy for the 2006 general election , Prodi came up with the idea of an apposite primary election , the first of such kind to be ever introduced in Europe and seen by its creator (Prodi himself) as a democratic move to bring the public and its opinion closer to the Italian politics.
When the primary elections were first proposed, they were mostly
meant as a plebiscite for Romano Prodi, since there were no other
candidates to the leadership of the coalition. The secretary of the
Communist Refoundation Party,
Fausto Bertinotti , then announced he
would run for the leadership, even if only to act as a symbolic
candidate , to avoid a one-candidate election. After some time, more
candidates were presented, like
Union of Democrats for Europe leader
Clemente Mastella ,
The primary election may have been foreseen an easy win for Romano Prodi, with the other candidates running mostly to "measure their strengths" in the coalition, and they often talked about reaching a certain percentage rather than winning. However, there were rumours of supporters of the House of Freedoms trying to participate in the elections, and vote in favour of Mastella, reputed to be the least competent of the candidates and the least likely to win against Berlusconi, other than the most centrist; other rumours indicated such "fake" left-wing voters would vote for Bertinotti, because his leadership would likely lose any grip on the political centre .
The election had been held nationwide on 16 October 2005, from 8am to 10pm. Poll stations were mainly managed on a voluntary basis; they were hosted mainly in squares, local party quarters, schools, and even restaurants , bars , campers and a hairdresser ; some polling stations were also provided outside the country for Italians abroad. Most of the party leaders claimed a result of 1 million voters would be a good success for the election, but over four million people for the occasion went to cast a vote in the primary election.
SECOND TERM AS PRIME MINISTER
ITALIAN 2006 GENERAL ELECTION
After having won the centre-left primary election, Prodi led The
Union coalition in the 2006 election . The Union was an heterogeneous
alliance, which was formed by centrist parties like UDEUR and
communists like PRC and
Party of Italian Communists
Prodi led his coalition to the electoral campaign preceding the
election, eventually on 9 and 10 April won by a very narrow margin of
25,000 votes, and a final majority of two seats in the Senate .
Initial exit polls suggested a victory for Prodi, but the results
narrowed as the count progressed. On 11 April 2006, Prodi declared
victory; Berlusconi never conceded defeat explicitly but this is not
required by the
Italian law .
Preliminary results showed The Union leading the
House of Freedoms in
the Chamber of Deputies , with 340 seats to 277, thanks to obtaining a
majority bonus (actual votes were distributed 49.81% to 49.74%). One
more seat is allied with The Union (
Aosta Valley ) and 7 more seats in
the foreign constituency. The
House of Freedoms had secured a slight
majority of Senate seats elected within
On 19 April 2006, Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that Prodi had indeed won the election, winning control of the Chamber of Deputies by only 24,755 votes out of more than 38 million votes cast, and winning 158 seats in the Senate to 156 for Berlusconi's coalition. Even so, Berlusconi refused to concede defeat, claiming unproven fraud.
Prodi's appointment was somewhat delayed, as the outgoing President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi , ended his mandate in May, not having enough time for the usual procedure (consultations made by the President, appointment of a Prime Minister, motion of confidence and oath of office). After the acrimonious election of Giorgio Napolitano to replace Ciampi, Prodi could proceed with his transition to government. On 16 May he was invited by Napolitano to form a government. The following day, 17 May 2006, Prodi and his second cabinet were sworn into office.
Prodi's new cabinet drew in politicians from across his centre-left
winning coalition, in addition to
Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa , an
unelected former official of the
European Central Bank
The coalition led by Romano Prodi, thanks to the electoral law which
gave the winner a sixty-seat majority, can count on a good majority in
the Chamber of Deputies but only on a very narrow majority in the
Senate. The composition of the coalition was heterogeneous, combining
parties of communist ideology, the
Party of Italian Communists
In foreign policy, the
Prodi II Cabinet continued the engagement in
The major effort of foreign minister Massimo D\'Alema concerned the
aftermath of the
2006 Lebanon War , being the first to offer troops to
the UN for the constitution of the
UNIFIL force, and assuming its
command in February 2007. In fact Prodi had a key role in the creation
of a multinational peacekeeping force in
Prodi's government faced a crisis over policies in early 2007, after just nine months of government. Three ministers in Prodi's Cabinet boycotted a vote in January to continue funding for Italian troop deployments in Afghanistan. Lawmakers approved the expansion of the US military base Caserma Ederle at the end of January, but the victory was so narrow that Deputy Prime Minister Francesco Rutelli criticised members of the coalition who had not supported the government. At around the same time, Justice Minister Clemente Mastella , of the coalition member UDEUR Populars, said he would rather see the government fall than support its unwed couples legislation.
Tens of thousands of people marched in
After a Government meeting on 21 February,
Following these talks, on 24 February, President Napolitano asked Prodi to remain in office but to submit to a vote of confidence in both houses. "I will seek a vote of confidence as soon as possible, with renewed impetus and a united and determined coalition," Prodi said after meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano. On 28 February, the Senate voted to grant confidence to Prodi's Government. Though facing strong opposition from the centre-right coalition, the vote resulted in a 162–157 victory. Prodi then faced a vote of confidence in the lower house on 2 March, which he won as expected with a large majority of 342–198.
On 14 October 2007, Prodi oversaw the merger of two main parties of the Italian centre-left, Democrats of the Left and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy , creating the Democratic Party . Prodi himself led the merger of the two parties, which had been planned over a twelve-year period, and became the first President of the party. He announced his resignation from that post on 16 April 2008, two days after the Democratic Party's defeat in the general election.
2008 CRISIS AND RESIGNATION
See also: 2008 Italian political crisis
In early January 2008, Justice Minister and Union of Democrats for Europe 's leader Clemente Mastella resigned after his wife Sandra Lonardo was put under house arrest for corruption charges. With three Senators, UDEUR was instrumental to ensure a narrow centre-left majority in the Italian Senate.
After first promising to support the government, he later retracted this support, and his party followed, in part also due to pressure from the Vatican , for which the government's proposed laws in regards to registered partnerships of same-sex couples, and other liberal reforms were objectionable. Mastella also cited lack of solidarity from the majority parties after the arrest of his wife, and declared that his party would vote against the government bills since then.
The decision of former Minister of Justice Mastella arrived a few days after the confirmation of the Constitutional Court which confirmed the referendum to modify the electoral system. As stated many times by Minister Mastella, if the referendum would have been confirmed this would lead directly to the fall of the government and it happened. The fall of the government would disrupt a pending election-law referendum that if passed would make it harder for small parties like Mastella's to gain seats in parliament.
The UDEUR defection forced caused Prodi to ask for a confidence vote
in both Chambers: he won a clear majority in the Chamber of Deputies
on 23 January, but was defeated 156 to 161 (with 1 abstention) in
the Senate the next day. He therefore tendered his resignation as
Prime Minister to President
AFTER THE PREMIERSHIP
On 19 March 2008, during the political campaign for the snap general
On 12 September 2008, Prodi was named by the UN as head of a joint AU -UN panel aimed at enhancing peacekeeping operations in Africa.
On 6 February 2009, he was appointed Professor-at-Large at the Watson
Institute for International Studies of
Brown University . Since 2010
On 16 April 2013, just a few day prior to the fourth ballot, Prodi gave a lectio magistralis at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum entitled “I grandi cambiamenti della politica e dell’economia mondiale: c’è un posto per l’Europa?” ("The Great Changes in Politics and the World Economy: Is there Room for Europe?). Prodi was sponsored by the Angelicum and the Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi on behalf of the Political Science program "Scienze Politiche e del Buon Governo."
A few days later, on 19 April, starting on the fourth ballot Prodi was looked at seriously as a possible candidate. However, Prodi announced he was pulling out of the race for president after more than 100 center-left electors didn't vote for him: he received only 395 (of 504 votes needed to be elected.) After this vote Pier Luigi Bersani , leader of center-left Democratic Party announced his resignation as party's secretary.
HONOURS AND AWARDS
* Laurea in Giurisprudenza (110 e lode) Università Cattolica Milano
Madras University (India, 1998)
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