Luca Zaia

The Honourable
Luca Zaia
President of Veneto
Assumed office
13 April 2010
Preceded by Giancarlo Galan
Minister of Agriculture
In office
8 May 2008  16 April 2010
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Preceded by Paolo De Castro
Succeeded by Giancarlo Galan
Vice President of Veneto
In office
5 April 2005  6 June 2008
President Giancarlo Galan
Preceded by Fabio Gava
Succeeded by Franco Manzato
Personal details
Born (1968-03-27) 27 March 1968
Conegliano, Italy
Political party Lega Nord
Spouse(s) Raffaella Monti (m. 1998)
Alma mater University of Udine
Profession Oenologist
Religion Catholic Church
Website Official website

Luca Zaia (Conegliano, 27 March 1968) is an Italian Venetist politician and member of Liga VenetaLega Nord.

Since April 2010 Zaia has been President of Veneto. Prior to that, he was Minister of Agriculture in Silvio Berlusconi's fourth cabinet from May 2008 to April 2010 and Vice President of Veneto from May 2005 to May 2008.

Political career

Luca Zaia joined Liga VenetaLega Nord in the early 1990s, after having met Gian Paolo Gobbo, and was first elected to public office in 1993, when he became municipal councillor of Godega di Sant'Urbano. Two years later, in 1995, he successfully ran for provincial councillor and, after the election, was appointed provincial minister of Agriculture.[1][2]

In the 1998 provincial election Zaia was elected President of the Province of Treviso with 60.0% of the vote in the second round, after arriving ahead in the first round with 41.4% and refusing to accept the support of any other party other than his own.[3] At the time, he was the youngest provincial president of Italy.[1][2] In 2002 he was re-elected by a landslide 68.9% of the vote in the second round and continue to govern the province with the sole support of his party.[4]

In May 2005 Zaia was appointed Vice President of Veneto and regional minister of Agriculture and Tourism in Galan III Government, but left in May 2008 in order to take office as minister of Agriculture in Berlusconi IV Cabinet.[1][2]

In December 2009 The People of Freedom (PdL) determined that the coalition candidate in the 2010 regional election would be a leghista.[5] Subsequently, the national council of Liga Veneta (LV) nominated Zaia for President.[6]

President of Veneto

In March 2010 Zaia was elected President of Veneto by a landslide, with 60.2% of the vote against 29.1% of his foremost opponent, Giuseppe Bortolussi of the Democratic Party (PD). The election was a triumph for the LV, which was by far the largest party in the region with 35.2% of the vote, up from 14.7% of five years before, and got 20 seats in the Regional Council, up from 11. Zaia was also the most voted President of Veneto since direct election was introduced in 1995.[7]

In 2012, Zaia resulted the most popular President of Region in Italy. In May 2015 Zaia was re-elected President of Veneto with 50.1% of the vote in the 2015 regional election.

Social issues

In early times of his administration, Zaia tried to limit the abortive pill RU-486.[8] However, the AIFA ("Italian Agency of Medicine"), claimed his position unconstitutional, how the question is regulated by the Law 194 of 1978.

In 2011, during the abrogative referendums, he vote "4 Yes". He spoke for a better transparency and claimed for citizens' supervision on public administration.[9]

In 2013, Zaia speech against the LGBT adoption. He said that: "I have nothing against gays, but the possibility of adoption seems to me to be an extreme measure with unpredictable effects." ("Io non ho nulla contro i gay, ma la possibilità dell’adozione mi pare un’estremizzazione dagli effetti imprevedibili").[10]

Economic issues

In August 2010, an anti-globalization group pickets in Vivaro against the GMO plantations. The manifestation was supported by Zaia, that claimed a "return to legality", despite his predecessor Giancarlo Galan, member of his coalition, was pro-GMO.

After a flood in 2010, Zaia and his coalition changed a regional law to permit the reconstruction of rural ruins until 800 cubic meter. The Democratic Party claimed this as a "cementification" attempt. Also the National Association of Building Constructors ("Associazione nazionale costruttori edili", ANCE) called the law a "bad choice".[11]

He was criticized when, after the flood, he asked for more funds for the reconstruction, and said: "It's a shame spending 250,000,000 € for four stones in Pompei."[12]

Venetian independence

In March 2014, Zaia supported a plebiscite on the Venetian independence. He also comparated the Veneto to Crimea, that on March 11 of the same year has launched a referendum for the independence from Ukraine.[13]

Personal life

Luca Zaia was born on 27 March 1968 in the Province of Treviso. In 1993 he received a degree in the science of animal production at the veterinary college of the University of Udine, before attending a managerial course.[1][2]

In 1998 Zaia married Raffaella Monti. The couple has no children.[14]

In August 2006, when was Vice President of Veneto, Zaia saved an Albanian citizen, that was wedged in a burning car. He refused the title of "hero".[15]

See also


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