Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
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Fanfani, Amintore (1908–1999)

Italian Christian Democratic politician, five-time prime minister of Italy, and, briefly, president in 1978. Born in Pieve, Santo Stefano, on 6 February 1908, Amintore Fanfani studied economics at the Catholic University in Milan. He then became an economics professor at the same institution and later at the University of Rome. Elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1946, Fanfani served as minister of labor and social security for Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi during 1947–1950.

Fanfani went on to head the Ministry of the Interior in 1953 and again in 1978–1988; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1965 and again in 1966–1968; and the Ministry of the Budget during 1988–1989. He also served as Italian premier five different times (January 1954, 1958–1959, 1960–1963, 1982–1983, and April–July 1987). Fanfani served several stints as president of the Senate beginning in 1968; in 1972 he was named senator for life.

Fanfani was a canny politician and a dedicated Christian Democrat. He led his party from 1954 until 1959, when he was forced to relinquish the position because of his perceived pandering to the leftists. He also formed Italy's first center-leftist coalition government in 1962. Fanfani's governments successfully implemented regional decentralization and the nationalization of the electrical generation and distribution industry. He had set his sights on capturing the presidency but was successful in this endeavor only in 1978, when he held the post for a brief time after the sudden resignation of President Giovanni Leone. Fanfani died in Rome on 20 November 1999.

Leopoldo Nuti


Further Reading
Wertman, Douglas, and Robert Leonardi. Italian Christian Democracy: The Politics of Dominance. London: Macmillan, 1989.
 

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