Giovanni Spadolini

Giovanni Spadolini
44th Prime Minister of Italy
In office
28 June 1981  1 December 1982
President Alessandro Pertini
Preceded by Arnaldo Forlani
Succeeded by Amintore Fanfani
President of the Italian Senate
Acting President of the Republic
from 28 April 1992 to 28 May 1992
In office
2 July 1987  14 April 1994
Preceded by Giovanni Francesco Malagodi
Succeeded by Carlo Scognamiglio Pasini
Minister of Defence
In office
4 August 1983  17 April 1987
Prime Minister Bettino Craxi
Preceded by Lelio Lagorio
Succeeded by Remo Gaspari
Minister of Public Education
In office
20 March 1979  4 August 1979
Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti
Preceded by Mario Pedini
Succeeded by Salvatore Valitutti
Minister of Culture
In office
23 November 1974  12 February 1976
Prime Minister Aldo Moro
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Mario Pedini
Personal details
Born (1925-06-21)21 June 1925
Florence, Kingdom of Italy
Died 4 August 1994(1994-08-04) (aged 69)
Rome, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party Republican Fascist Party
Italian Republican Party
Alma mater University of Florence
Profession Teacher, journalist, historian

Giovanni Spadolini (21 June 1925 4 August 1994) was a Republican Italian politician, the 44th Prime Minister of Italy, newspaper editor, journalist and a noted historian.


Early life and career

Spadolini was born in Florence in 1925. In his youth, working in a public library, Spadolini was a republican and fascist-aligned activist, and wrote for the periodical Italia e Civiltà ("Italy and Civilization"), near to Giovanni Gentile, and in a number, Spadolini explicited his anti-Masonry, anti-liberalism and anti-semitism. In 1944, during the Italian Civil War, he joined in to the Italian Social Republic.[1]

In the post-war time (1945–1950), Spadolini revised the majority of his old ideas, and became a moderate conservative to liberal. He also rejected his old anti-semitism for the 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, like 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, which job 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. Before 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 Assets and Activities) from 1974 to 1976.

He was leader of the Italian Republican Party (PRI) from 1979 to 1987, during both the 10th and the 11th Legislatures.

Prime Minister

He served as Prime Minister of Italy from 1981 to 1982, the first since 1945 not to be a member of the Christian Democracy. 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 Ghaddafi'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 Finances Rino Formica (PSI), Spadolini resigned and formed a new cabinet identical to the former, that collapsed in November when Bettino Craxi's Socialist Party withdrew support.

Post-government career

However, under his rule, the PRI obtained the 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 House of Freedoms, he lost the chairmanship of the Senate to Carlo Scognamiglio Pasini by a single vote. He died four months later in Rome, on 4 August 1994.


  1. Spadolini, Giovanni (January 15, 1944). "Responsabilità".
  2. "Israele accoglie il "vecchio amico" Spadolini". March 23, 1992.
  3. "Chi era Stefano Gaj Taché". February 3, 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
None, office established
Italian Minister of Culture
Succeeded by
Mario Pedini
Preceded by
Mario Pedini
Italian Minister of Public Instruction
Succeeded by
Salvatore Valitutti
Preceded by
Arnaldo Forlani
Prime Minister of Italy
Succeeded by
Amintore Fanfani
Preceded by
Lelio Lagorio
Italian Minister of Defense
Succeeded by
Remo Gaspari
Preceded by
Francesco Cossiga
President of Italy

Succeeded by
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
Italian Senate
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Italian Senator for Lombardy
1972 1991
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Italian Lifetime Senator
1991 1994
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
Preceded by
Giovanni Francesco Malagodi
President of the Italian Senate
1987 1994
Succeeded by
Carlo Scognamiglio
Party political offices
Preceded by
Oddo Biasini
Secretary of the Italian Republican Party
1979 - 1987
Succeeded by
Giorgio La Malfa
Preceded by
None, group established
Chairman of the Republican Group in the House
1977 1979
Succeeded by
Biagio Pinto
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