Paolo Gentiloni

Paolo Gentiloni

The Honourable  Paolo Gentiloni
MP
Paolo Gentiloni 2017.jpg
Former (57th) Prime Minister of Italy
Incumbent
Assumed office
12 December 2016
President Sergio Mattarella
Preceded by Matteo Renzi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
31 October 2014 – 12 December 2016
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Preceded by Federica Mogherini
Succeeded by Angelino Alfano
Minister of Communications
In office
17 May 2006 – 8 May 2008
Prime Minister Romano Prodi
Preceded by Mario Landolfi
Succeeded by Claudio Scajola (Economic Development)
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Incumbent
Assumed office
30 May 2001
Constituency Piedmont 2 (2001–2006)
Lazio 1 (2006–present)
 
Personal details
Born Paolo Gentiloni Silveri
(1954-11-22) 22 November 1954 
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Political party Democratic Party (2007–present)
Other political
affiliations
The Daisy (2002–2007)
Spouse(s) Emanuela Mauro (m. 1989)
Residence Palazzo Chigi
Alma mater Sapienza University
Profession
  • Journalist
  • politician
Signature

Paolo Gentiloni Silveri (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːolo dʒentiˈloːni]😉 is an Italian politician who has been Prime Minister of Italy since 12 December 2016.

Gentiloni, a member of the Democratic Party, served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 31 October 2014 until December 2016, when President Sergio Mattarella asked him to form a new government. Previously, he was Minister of Communications from 2006 to 2008, during the second government of Romano Prodi.

Early life and family

A descendant of Count Gentiloni Silveri, he is related to the Italian politician Vincenzo Ottorino Gentiloni, who was the leader of the conservative Catholic Electoral Union and a key ally of the long-time Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti. Gentiloni has the titles of Nobile of Filottrano, Nobile of Cingoli, and Nobile of Macerata.

Born in Rome, he attended the Classical Lyceum Torquato Tasso in the city and graduated in political sciences at the La Sapienza University. Gentiloni was a professional journalist before entering politics.

Early political career

Gentiloni was a member of the Student Movement (Movimento Studentesco), an extreme left-wing youth organization led by Mario Capanna; when Capanna founded the Proletarian Democracy party, Gentiloni did not follow him, and joined the Workers’ Movement for Socialism. During those years he became a close friend of Chicco Testa who helped Gentiloni to become director of La Nuova Ecologia (“The New Ecology”), the official newspaper of Legambiente. As director of this ecological newspaper he met the young leader of Federation of the Greens, Francesco Rutelli.

Rome City Council

In 1993 he became Rutelli’s spokesman during his campaign to become Mayor of Rome; after the election, which saw a strong victory by Rutelli against the right-wing coalition led by Gianfranco Fini, Gentiloni was appointed Jubilee and Tourism Councillor in the Rome City Council.

Member of Parliament and Minister

In the 2001 general election, Gentiloni was elected as a Member of Parliament and started his national political career. In 2002 he was a founding member of the Daisy party, being the party’s communications spokesman for five years.

From 2005 until 2006, he was Chairman of the Broadcasting Services Watchdog Committee; the committee oversees the activity of state broadcaster RAI, which is publicly funded.

 He was re-elected in the 2006 election as a member of The Olive Tree, the political coalition led by the Bolognese economist Romano Prodi. After the centre-left’s victory, Gentiloni served as Minister for Communications in Prodi’s second government from 2006 until 2008.

He was one of the 45 members of the national founding committee of the Democratic Party in 2007, formed by the union of the democratic socialists Democrats of the Left and the Christian leftist The Daisy.

Gentiloni was re-elected in the 2008 general election, which saw the victory of the conservative coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi.

Gentiloni in 2006
Gentiloni in 2006

On 6 April 2013 he ran in the primary election to select the center-left candidate for Mayor of Rome, placing third after Ignazio Marino, who became Mayor, and the journalist David Sassoli.

Gentiloni was elected again to the Chamber of Deputies in the 2013 general election, as part of the centre-left coalition Italy. Common Good led by Pier Luigi Bersani, Secretary of the PD.

In 2013, after Bersani’s resignation as Secretary, Gentiloni supported the Mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, in the Democratic Party leadership election.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Gentiloni with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome, June 2016.
Gentiloni with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome, June 2016.

On 31 October 2014 Gentiloni was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; Gentiloni succeeded Federica Mogherini, who became High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. He took office two months before Italy’s rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union ended in December 2014.

At the time of his appointment, Gentiloni had not been mentioned in political circles as a candidate. Renzi had reportedly wanted to replace Mogherini with another woman, to preserve gender parity in his 16-member cabinet. Also, Gentiloni was not known as a specialist in international diplomacy.

On 13 February 2015, during an interview on Sky TG24, Gentiloni stated that “if needed, Italy will be ready to fight in Libya against the Islamic State, because the Italian government can not accept the idea that there is an active terrorist threat only a few hours from Italy by boat.” The following day Gentiloni was threatened by ISIL, which accused him of being a crusader, minister of an enemy country.

In March 2015 Gentiloni visited Mexico and Cuba and met Cuban President Raúl Castro, ensuring the Italian support for the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States.

On 11 July 2015, a car bomb exploded outside the Italian consulate in the Egyptian capital Cairo, resulting in at least one death and four people injured; the Islamic State claimed responsibility. On the same day Gentiloni stated that “Italy will be not intimidated” and would continue the fight against terrorism.

Gentiloni with Boris Johnson and Federica Mogherini in September 2016.
Gentiloni with Boris Johnson and Federica Mogherini in September 2016.

In December 2015, Gentiloni hosted a peace conference in Rome with the representatives from both governments of Libya involved in the civil war, but also from the United Nations, the United States and Russia.

As Foreign Minister, Gentiloni had to confront various abductions of Italian citizens. In January 2015, he negotiated the release of Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli after they had been held hostage by Syrian terrorists for 168 days. Another high-profile case was the murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian Cambridge University graduate student killed in Cairo following his abduction on January 25, 2016; Regeni was a Ph.D. student researching Egypt’s independent trade unions.

In the 2016 United Nations Security Council election, Gentiloni and his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders agreed on splitting a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council after the United Nations General Assembly was deadlocked on whether to choose Italy or the Netherlands following five rounds of voting for the last remaining 2017–18 seat.

Prime Minister of Italy

Gentiloni with former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during the swearing ceremony.
Gentiloni with former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during the swearing ceremony.
 On 7 December 2016, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation, following the rejection of his proposals to overhaul the Italian Senate in the 2016 Italian constitutional referendum. A few days later, on 11 December 2016, Gentiloni was asked by President Mattarella to form a new government. On the following day Gentiloni was officially sworn in as the new head of the government.

He led a coalition government supported by his own Democratic Party and the Christian democratic Popular Area, composed of the New Centre-Right and the Centrists for Italy. This was the same majority that had supported Renzi’s government for almost three years. Meanwhile, the centrist Liberal Popular Alliance (ALA), led by Denis Verdini, did not support the new cabinet because no member of the ALA was appointed as a minister.

On 13 December his cabinet won a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies, with 368 votes for and 105 against, while the deputies of the Five Star Movement and the Lega Nord left the chamber. On the following day the government also won a confidence vote in the Senate of the Republic, with 169 votes for and 99 against.

On 29 December deputy ministers of the Democratic Party, New Centre-Right, as well as the Italian Socialist Party and Solidary Democracy, were appointed. After the split of the Democrats and Progressives from the Democratic Party, that party was presented by one deputy minister in the government.

On 19 July 2017 Gentiloni became Minister of Regional Affairs ad interim, after the resignation of Enrico Costa, member of Popular Alternative, who often criticized Gentiloni’s views and ideas, especially regarding immigration and birthright citizenship.

Immigration

Paolo Gentiloni during a press conference in May 2017.
Paolo Gentiloni during a press conference in May 2017.

A major problem faced by Gentiloni upon becoming Prime Minister in 2016 was the high levels of illegal immigration to Italy.

On 2 February 2017, Gentiloni reached a deal in Rome with Libyan Chairman of the Presidential Council Fayez al-Sarraj on halting migration. Libya agreed to try to stop migrants from setting out to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

On 9 February, Gentiloni signed a similar deal with President of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi, to prevent the migration across the Mediterranean.

Labour policies

In March 2017 the government abolished the use of labour vouchers, bonds of the redeemable transaction type which are worth a certain monetary value and which may be spent only for specific reasons or on specific goods, commonly one-off labour services. The government decided to promote this law after a referendum that was called by Italy’s main trade union CGIL. Gentiloni stated that he decided to abolish them, because he did not want to split the country in another referendum, after the December 2016 constitutional one.

Social policies

On 19 May 2017, the Council of Ministers, on the proposal of Prime Minishter Gentiloni and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin, approved a decree law containing urgent vaccine prevention measures that reintroduces the mandatory vaccination, bringing the number of mandatory vaccines from 4 to 12 and not allowing those who have not been vaccinated to attend school.

Foreign policies

Paolo Gentiloni with U.S. President Donald Trump in April 2017.
Paolo Gentiloni with U.S. President Donald Trump in April 2017.

Gentiloni strongly supports European integration and a multispeed Europe.

During his premiership, Gentiloni faced several challenging foreign policy situations, such as the European debt crisis, the civil war in Libya, the insurgency of the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East.

Gentiloni set up good relations with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

As Prime Minister, he hosted the 43rd G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily. This summit was the first one for him and also for British Prime Minister Theresa May, American President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron. It was the first time since 1987 that the G7 summit in Italy was not hosted by Silvio Berlusconi.

Health

On 10 January 2017, after an official trip in Paris to meet President François Hollande, Gentiloni suffered an obstructed coronary artery and received an emergency angioplasty. On the following day Gentiloni tweeted that he felt well and would be back at work soon. On the same day he also received the wishes from President Sergio Mattarella, former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Silvio Berlusconi, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Giuseppe Conte had beeb selected as prime minister of Italy in 2018
From Wikipedia

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