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Massimo D'Alema

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Massimo D'Alema

Massimo D'Alema
53rd Prime Minister of Italy
In office
21 October 1998 – 25 April 2000
President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Deputy Sergio Mattarella
Preceded by Romano Prodi
Succeeded by Giuliano Amato
Deputy Prime Minister of Italy
In office
17 May 2006 – 8 May 2008
Prime Minister Romano Prodi
Preceded by Giulio Tremonti
Succeeded by Angelino Alfano
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
17 May 2006 – 8 May 2008
Prime Minister Romano Prodi
Preceded by Gianfranco Fini
Succeeded by Franco Frattini
President of the Democrats of the Left
In office
6 November 1998 – 14 October 2007
Preceded by Giglia Tedesco Tatò
Succeeded by Position abolished
Secretary of the Democrats of the Left
In office
12 February 1998 – 6 November 1998
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Walter Veltroni
Secretary of the Democratic Party of the Left
In office
1 July 1994 – 12 February 1998
Preceded by Achille Occhetto
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born (1949-04-20) 20 April 1949
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Political party Democratic Party
Other political
Communist Party
(Before 1991)
Democratic Party of the Left
Democrats of the Left
Spouse(s) Linda Giuva
Children Giulia
Alma mater Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Religion None[1]
Website Official website

Massimo D'Alema (Italian pronunciation: ; born 20 April 1949)[2] is an Italian politician who was the 53rd Prime Minister from 1998 to 2000. Later he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2008. He is also a journalist and served for a time as national secretary of the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS). Sometimes media refers to him as Leader Maximo, due to his first name Massimo, but also for his dominant position in the left-wing coalitions during the Second Republic.[3]


Massimo D'Alema was born in Rome on 20 April 1949,[2] the son of Giuseppe D'Alema (it), a communist politician. He is married to Linda Giuva, a professor at the University of Siena, and has two children, Giulia and Francesco. He later became a notable member of Italian Communist Party (PCI), part of which in 1991 gave origin to the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS), and in 1998 to the Democrats of the Left (DS). In 1998, succeeding Romano Prodi, he became Prime Minister, as the leader of The Olive Tree centre-left coalition. He was the first former Communist to become prime minister of a NATO country and the first Prime Minister of Italy born after Italy became a Republic in 1946.

While D'Alema was Prime Minister, Italy took part in the NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999. The attack was supported by Silvio Berlusconi and the centre-right opposition, but the far left strongly contested it.

In the internal life of his party, mostly during its transition from PCI to PDS, D'Alema stressed that its roots in Marxism should be renovated, with the aim to create a modern European social-democratic party.

D'Alema during a PD's meeting.

He has been the director of L'Unità, formerly the official newspaper of the Italian Communist Party, which since became the newspaper of the Democrats of the Left.

D'Alema was Member of the European Parliament for Southern Italy with the Democrats of the Left, part of the Party of European Socialists group, and sat on the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries and its Committee on Foreign Affairs, until he stood down following his election to the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

Following Romano Prodi's win in the Communist Refoundation Party, however, strongly pushed for Fausto Bertinotti to become the next President. After a couple of days of heated debate, D'Alema stepped back to prevent a fracture between political parties, an act applauded by his allies. The same month, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new Prodi government. He served in those posts until 2008, when Prodi's government fell and Berlusconi's right-wing coalition prevailed in the election that followed in April 2008. D'Alema was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies in this election as part of the recently formed Democratic Party.[2]

2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict

Massimo D'Alema with Condoleezza Rice

While Italian Foreign Minister in the 2006-2008 Romano Prodi center-left government, Massimo D'Alema took a very pro-active diplomatic stance during the 2006 Lebanon War. Italy led negotiations with the Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni and was proposed by Israel to head the multinational peacekeeping mission Unifil, although the dangers of the mission for Italian troops sparked warnings from the center-right opposition that it could prove a "kamikaze" mission, with the peacekeepers sandwiched between Israel and the well-armed Hezbollah.[4] D’Alema pledged Italy’s willingness to enforce the United Nations resolution on Lebanon and urged other European Union member states to do the same because the stability of the Middle East should be a chief concern for Europeans.[5]

On the European scene

D'Alema was briefly a Soros letter ('As concerned Europeans') and has called for a stronger European integration.[6]

Since 30 June 2010 D'Alema has been the president of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), the political foundation of the Party of European Socialists.[7]




  • 1975-1980: National Secretary of the FGCI
  • 1981-1986: Regional Secretary of the PCI in Apulia
  • 1986-1989: Editor of the daily newspaper L'Unità
  • 1986-1992: Member of the PCI/PDS national secretariat
  • 1992-1994: Chairman of the PDS Members of Parliament
  • 1994-1999: leader of the PDS-DS
  • Chairman of the DS
  • Since 1996: Vice-Chairman of the Socialist International



See also: European Parliament election, 2004 (Italy)


Massimo D'Alema published eight books, half of which with Mondadori, which is controlled by Fininvest, the family holding company of Silvio Berlusconi.

  • Dialogo su Berlinguer ("Dialogue on Giunti, 1994, ISBN 88-09-20545-6;
  • Un paese normale. La sinistra e il futuro dell'Italia ("A normal country. The left wing and Italy's future"), Mondadori, 1995, ISBN 88-04-40847-2;
  • Progettare il futuro ("Shaping the future"), Bompiani, 1996, ISBN 88-452-2883-5;
  • La sinistra nell'Italia che cambia ("The left wing in the changing Italy"), Feltrinelli, 1997, ISBN 88-07-47013-6
  • La grande occasione. L'Italia verso le riforme ("The great chance. Italy towards reforms"), Mondadori, 1997, ISBN 88-04-42161-4;
  • Parole a vista ("Words on sight"), with Enrico Ghezzi (it), Bompiani, 1998, ISBN 88-452-3777-X;
  • Kosovo. Gli italiani e la guerra ("Kosovo. Italians and war"), with Federico Rampini (it), Mondadori, 1999, ISBN 88-04-47302-9;
  • Oltre la paura ("Beyond fear"), Mondadori, 2002, ISBN 88-04-51206-7.


  1. ^ Bruce Johnston (1998). "Pope meets Italian premier". Catholic Herald Archive. The sources said the Pope had been "bowled over" by the news that Mr D'Alema— the only Italian political figure ever to have admitted to being and atheist — would be the country's next Prime Minister. 
  2. ^ a b c "Page on D'Alema at Chamber of Deputies website". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  3. ^ Ue, un posto per il leader maxi o D'Alema
  4. ^ "Italy to send up to 3,000 troops to Lebanon, largest pledge so far".  
  5. ^ Smith, Craig S. (24 August 2006). "France Pledges More Troops to Lebanon". New York Times. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  6. ^ October 12, 2011 2:11 am (2011-10-12). "As concerned Europeans we urge eurozone leaders to unite, 12 October 2011". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  7. ^ Massimo D'ALEMA : President of FEPS. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.

External links

  • Official website
  • Biography of Massimo D'Alema at CIDOB (Spanish)
  • European Parliament biography of Massimo D'Alema
  • Declaration (PDF) of financial interests (Italian)
Party political offices
Preceded by
Achille Occhetto
Secretary of the Democratic Party of the Left
Position abolished
New office Secretary of the Democrats of the Left
Succeeded by
Walter Veltroni
Preceded by
Giglia Tedesco Tatò
President of the Democrats of the Left
Position abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
Romano Prodi
Prime Minister of Italy
Succeeded by
Giuliano Amato
Preceded by
Gianfranco Fini
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Franco Frattini
Preceded by
Francesco Rutelli
President of COPASIR
Succeeded by
Giacomo Stucchi
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