The President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic (Italian: Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri della Repubblica Italiana), commonly referred to in Italy as Presidente del Consiglio, or informally as Premier and known in English as the Prime Minister of Italy, is the head of government of the Italian Republic. The office of Prime Minister is established by Articles 92 through to 96 of the Constitution of Italy. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic after each general election and must have the confidence of the Italian Parliament to stay in office.
Prior to the establishment of the Italian Republic, the position was called President of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy (Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri del Regno d'Italia). From 1925 to 1943 during the Fascist regime, the position was transformed into the dictatorial position of Head of the Government, Prime Minister, Secretary of State (Capo del Governo, primo ministro, segretario di Stato) held by Benito Mussolini, Duce of Fascism, who officially governed on the behalf of the King of Italy. King Victor Emmanuel III removed Mussolini from office in 1943 and the position was restored with Marshal Pietro Badoglio becoming Prime Minister in 1943. Alcide De Gasperi became the first Prime Minister of the Italian Republic in 1946.
The Prime Minister is the President of the Council of Ministers which holds executive power and the position is similar to those in most other parliamentary systems. The formal Italian order of precedence lists the office as being ceremonially the fourth most important Italian state office.
|President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic
Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana
Flag of the President of the Council of Ministers
Seal of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers
since 1 June 2018
|Style||President (reference and spoken)|
Premier (reference, informal)
His Excellency (diplomatic, outside Italy)
|Appointer||President of the Republic|
|Term length||No term limit |
The Prime Minister's term of office ends when the Parliament withdraws its confidence to the Cabinet or in case of resignation
|Inaugural holder||Camillo Benso di Cavour|
|Formation||17 March 1861|
As the President of the Council of Ministers, the modern Prime Minister leads the Cabinet (the Council of Ministers). In addition, the Prime Minister often leads a major political party and is required by the Constitution to have the confidence of the majority of the voting members of the Parliament.
In addition to powers inherent in being a member of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds specific powers, most notably being able to nominate a list of Cabinet ministers to be appointed by the President of the Republic and the countersigning of all legislative instruments having the force of law that are signed by the President of the Republic.
Article 95 of the Italian constitution provides that the Prime Minister "directs and coordinates the activity of the ministers". This power has been used to a quite variable extent in the history of the Italian state as it is strongly influenced by the political strength of individual ministers and thus by the parties they represent.
The Prime Minister's activity has often consisted of mediating between the various parties in the majority coalition, rather than directing the activity of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister's supervisory power is further limited by the lack of any formal authority to fire ministers, although a Cabinet reshuffle (rimpasto) or sometimes even an individual vote of no confidence on the part of Parliament may in practice provide a surrogate measure.
The office was first established in 1848 in Italy's predecessor state, the Kingdom of Sardinia—although it was not mentioned in its constitution, the Albertine Statute. From 1848 to 1861, ten Prime Ministers governed the Kingdom, most of them being right-wing politicians.
After the unification of Italy and the establishment of the kingdom, the procedure did not change. In fact, the candidate for office was appointed by the King and presided over a very unstable political system. The first Prime Minister was Camillo Benso di Cavour, who was appointed on 23 March 1861, but he died on 6 June the same year. From 1861 to 1911, Historical Right and Historical Left Prime Ministers alternatively governed the country.
One of the most famous and influential Prime Ministers of this period was Francesco Crispi, a left-wing patriot and statesman, the first head of the government from Southern Italy. He led the country for six years from 1887 until 1891 and again from 1893 until 1896. Crispi was internationally famous and often mentioned along with world statesmen such as Otto von Bismarck, William Ewart Gladstone and Salisbury.
Originally an enlightened Italian patriot and democrat liberal, Crispi went on to become a bellicose authoritarian Prime Minister, ally and admirer of Bismarck. His career ended amid controversy and failure due to becoming involved in a major banking scandal and subsequently fell from power in 1896 after a devastating colonial defeat in Ethiopia. He is often seen as a precursor of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
In 1892, Giovanni Giolitti, a young leftist politician, was appointed Prime Minister by King Umberto I, but after less than a year he was forced to resign and Crispi returned to power. In 1903, he was appointed again head of the government after a period of instability. Giolitti was Prime Minister five times between 1892 and 1921 and the second-longest serving Prime Minister in Italian history.
Giolitti was a master in the political art of trasformismo, the method of making a flexible, fluid centrist coalition in Parliament which sought to isolate the extremes of the left and the right in Italian politics. Under his influence, the Italian Liberals did not develop as a structured party. They were instead a series of informal personal groupings with no formal links to political constituencies.
The period between the start of the 20th century and the start of World War I, when he was Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior from 1901 to 1914 with only brief interruptions, is often called the Giolittian Era. A left-wing liberal with strong ethical concerns, Giolitti's periods in office were notable for the passage of a wide range of progressive social reforms which improved the living standards of ordinary Italians, together with the enactment of several policies of government intervention.
Besides putting in place several tariffs, subsidies and government projects, Giolitti also nationalized the private telephone and railroad operators. Liberal proponents of free trade criticized the "Giolittian System", although Giolitti himself saw the development of the national economy as essential in the production of wealth.
The Italian Prime Minister presided over a very unstable political system as in its first sixty years of existence (1861–1921) Italy changed its head of the government 37 times.
Regarding this situation, the first goal of Benito Mussolini, appointed in 1922, was to abolish the Parliament's ability to put him to a vote of no confidence, basing his power on the will of the King and the National Fascist Party alone. After destroying all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes, Mussolini and his Fascist followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five years, he had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means, aspiring to create a totalitarian state.
Mussolini remained in power until he was deposed by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1943 following a vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism. A few months later, he became the leader of the Italian Social Republic, a German puppet regime controlling just northern Italy. Mussolini held this post until his death in 1945.
With the proclamation of the Italian Republic in 1946, the office received constitutional recognition. The First Republic was dominated by the Christian Democracy (Democrazia Cristiana, DC) political party which was the senior party in each government coalitions from 1946 to 1994 while the opposition was led by the Italian Communist Party (PCI), the largest one in Western Europe.
In the first years of the Republic the governments were led by Alcide De Gasperi, a Christian Democratic politician who had been Prime Minister for seven years. De Gasperi is also considered a founding father of the European Union.
After the death of the De Gasperi, Italy returned in a period of political instability and lot of cabinets were formed in few decades. The second part of the 20th century was dominated by De Gasperi's protegé Giulio Andreotti, who was appointed Prime Minister seven times from 1972 to 1992.
From the late 1960s until the early 1980s, the country experienced the Years of Lead, a period characterised by economic crisis (especially after the 1973 oil crisis), widespread social conflicts and terrorist massacres carried out by opposing extremist groups, with the alleged involvement of United States and Soviet intelligence. The Years of Lead culminated in the assassination of the Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1978 and the Bologna railway station massacre in 1980, where 85 people died.
In the 1980s, for the first time since 1945 two governments were led by non-Christian Democrat Prime Ministers: one Republican (Giovanni Spadolini) and one Socialist (Bettino Craxi). However, the Christian Democrats remained the main government party. During Craxi's government, the economy recovered and Italy became the world's fifth largest industrial nation, gaining entry into the Group of Seven, but as a result of his spending policies the Italian national debt skyrocketed during the Craxi era, soon passing 100% of the GDP.
In the early 1990s, Italy faced significant challenges as voters—disenchanted with political paralysis, massive public debt and the extensive corruption system (known as Tangentopoli) uncovered by the "Clean Hands" (mani pulite) investigation—demanded radical reforms. The scandals involved all major parties, but especially those in the government coalition: the Christian Democrats, who ruled for almost 50 years, underwent a severe crisis and eventually disbanded, splitting up into several factions. Moreover, the Communist Party was reorganised as a social democratic force, the Democratic Party of the Left.
In the midst of the mani pulite operation which shook political parties in 1994, media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, owner of three private TV channels, founded Forza Italia (Forward Italy) party and won the elections, becoming one of Italy's most important political and economic figures for the next decade. Berlusconi is also the longest serving Prime Minister in the history of the Italian Republic and third-longest serving in the whole history after Mussolini and Giolitti.
Ousted after a few months of government, Berlusconi returned to power in 2001, lost the 2006 general election five years later to Romano Prodi and his Union coalition, but he won the 2008 general election and was elected Prime Minister again for the third time in May 2008. In November 2011, Berlusconi lost his majority in the Chamber of Deputies and resigned. His successor Mario Monti formed a new government, composed by "technicians" and supported by both the center-left and the center-right. In April 2013 after the general election in February, the Vice Secretary of the Democratic Party (PD) Enrico Letta led a government composed by both center-left and the center-right.
On 22 February 2014, after tensions in the Democratic Party the PD's Secretary Matteo Renzi was sworn in as the new Prime Minister. Only 39 years old upon taking office, he became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history. Renzi proposed several reforms, including a radical overhaul of the Senate, a new electoral law and the reduction of the costs of politics. A lot of analysts, journalists and politicians thought that these steps meant the end of the Second Republic and the beginning of the Third. However, the proposed reforms were rejected on 4 December 2016 by a referendum. Following the referendum's results, Renzi resigned and his Foreign Affairs Minister Paolo Gentiloni was appointed new Prime Minister. On 1 June 2018, Giuseppe Conte was sworn in as Prime Minister, at the head of a populist coalition formed by Five Star Movement and the League.
The 227th Coastal Division was an infantry division of the Italian Army during World War II. The division was located in the Calabria coastal region of Italy. Coastal divisions were second line divisions, usually formed from men in their forties and fifties intended to perform labouring and secondary military duties. Recruited locally, they were often commanded by officers called out of retirement. Their equipment was also second rate. The Prime Minister of Italy, Benito Mussolini had hoped to obtain large quantities of arms and equipment from the disbanded Vichy French army, but this was often sabotaged or arrived with no ammunition.Adone Zoli
Adone Zoli (16 December 1887 – 20 February 1960) was an Italian politician and member of the Christian Democracy. He served as the 35th Prime Minister of Italy from 1957 to 1958.Antonio Segni
Antonio Segni (Italian pronunciation: [anˈtɔːnjo ˈseɲɲi]; 2 February 1891 – 1 December 1972) was an Italian politician who was the 34th Prime Minister of Italy (1955–1957, 1959–1960), and the fourth President of the Italian Republic from 1962 to 1964. Adhering to the centrist Christian Democratic party (Italian: Democrazia Cristiana – DC), he was the first Sardinian ever to become Prime Minister of Italy.Arnaldo Forlani
This article is about the Italian legislator. For the similar name used as an alias by terrorist Ramzi Yousef for Philippine Airlines Flight 434, see Ramzi Yousef.Arnaldo Forlani, (Italian pronunciation: [arˈnaldo forˈlaːni]; born 8 December 1925) is an Italian politician who served as the 43rd Prime Minister of Italy from 18 October 1980 to 28 June 1981. He also held the office of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence.Forlani, a member of the right-wing of the Christian Democracy, was one of the most prominent Italian politicians from the 1970s to early 1990s. At age 93, Forlani is currently the oldest living former Italian Prime Minister.Ciriaco De Mita
Ciriaco Luigi De Mita (Italian pronunciation: [tʃiˈriːako luˈiːdʒi de ˈmiːta]; born 2 February 1928) is an Italian politician. He served as the 47th Prime Minister of Italy from 1988 to 1989 and as Member of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2013.Deputy Prime Minister of Italy
The Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, officially Vice-President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic (Italian: Vicepresidente del Consiglio dei ministri della Repubblica Italiana), is a senior member of the Italian Cabinet. Moreover, it is often colloquially known as Vicepremier. The office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not a permanent position, existing only at the discretion of the Prime Minister, who may appoint to other offices to give seniority to a particular Cabinet minister. The office is currently held by Luigi Di Maio (leader of the M5S) and Matteo Salvini (leader of the League), under Giuseppe Conte's premiership.
Unlike analogous offices in some other nations, such as a vice-presidency, the Italian deputy prime minister possesses no special constitutional powers as such, though they will always have particular responsibilities in government. They do not assume the duties and powers of the Prime Minister in the latter's absence, illness, or death, such as the powers to seek a dissolution of parliament, appoint peers or brief the President of the Republic.
They do not automatically succeed the Prime Minister, should the latter be incapacitated or resign from the leadership of his or her political party. In practice, however, the designation of someone to the role of Deputy Prime Minister may provide additional practical status within cabinet, enabling the exercise of de facto, if not de jure, power.
In a coalition government, as Enrico Letta Grand coalition government between the Democrats and The People of Freedom, the appointment of the secretary of the smaller party (in the 2014 case, Angelino Alfano, secretary of the PdL) as Deputy Prime Minister is done to give that person more authority within the cabinet to enforce the coalition's agreed-upon agenda.Enrico Letta
Enrico Letta (pronounced [enˈriːko ˈlɛtta]; born 20 August 1966) is an Italian politician who was Prime Minister of Italy from 2013 to 2014, leading a grand coalition comprising the centre-left Democratic Party, the centre-right People of Freedom, and the centrist Civic Choice. He has also been a Member of the Chamber of Deputies since 2006. Letta was Minister of European Affairs from 1998 to 1999 and Minister of Industry from 1999 to 2001, and served as Secretary to the Council of Ministers from 2006 to 2008.
Letta is a founding member of the Democratic Party; formerly, he belonged to Christian Democracy, Italian People's Party, and The Daisy. His uncle is centre-right politician Gianni Letta, a trusted advisor of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.Fernando Tambroni
Fernando Tambroni Armaroli (25 November 1901 – 18 February 1963) was a right-wing Italian politician of the Christian Democratic Party. He was a lawyer, a prominent supporter of law and order policies, and for a brief time in 1960, the 36th Prime Minister of Italy. His role as prime minister is best remembered for the riots which resulted from the possibility that he might look to the Movimento Sociale Italiano for support against the parliamentary left.Ferruccio Parri
Ferruccio Parri (Italian pronunciation: [ferˈruttʃo ˈparri]; 19 January 1890 in Pinerolo – 8 December 1981 in Rome) was an Italian partisan and politician who ruled Italy as the 29th Prime Minister of Italy for several months in 1945. During the resistance he was known as Maurizio.First marshal of the empire
First Marshal of the Empire (Italian: Primo Maresciallo dell'Impero) was a military rank established by the Italian parliament on March 30, 1938. The highest rank in the Italian military, it was only granted to King Victor Emmanuel III and Duce Benito Mussolini. The rank was abolished following World War II.
Mussolini's decision to create for himself and the King a new military rank created a crisis between himself and Victor Emmanuel III. For the first time in the history of the House of Savoy, the Prime Minister of Italy bore a rank equal with that of the head of the royal house giving him a mortgage on the high command of the Italian armed forces, a power of the King under the provisions of Statuto Albertino.Giovanni Goria
Giovanni Giuseppe Goria (Italian pronunciation: [dʒoˈvanni dʒuˈzɛppe ɡoˈriːa]; 30 July 1943 – 21 May 1994) was an Italian politician. He served as the 46th Prime Minister of Italy from 1987 until 1988.Giovanni Leone
Giovanni Leone (Italian pronunciation: [ʤoˈvanni leˈoːne]; 3 November 1908 – 9 November 2001) was an Italian politician. He was the 37th Prime Minister of Italy from 21 June 1963 to 4 December 1963 and again from 24 June 1968 to 12 December 1968. He also served as the sixth President of the Republic from 1971 to 1978.Giovanni Spadolini
Giovanni Spadolini (21 June 1925 – 4 August 1994) was a Republican Italian politician, the 44th Prime Minister of Italy, newspaper editor, journalist and a historian.Giuliano Amato
Giuliano Amato (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈljaːno aˈmaːto]; born 13 May 1938) is an Italian politician who twice served as Prime Minister of Italy, first from 1992 to 1993 and again from 2000 to 2001. Later, he was Vice President of the Convention on the Future of Europe that drafted the European Constitution and headed the Amato Group. He is commonly nicknamed dottor Sottile, (which means "Doctor Subtilis", the sobriquet of the Scottish Medieval philosopher John Duns Scotus, a reference to his political subtlety). From 2006 to 2008, he was the Minister of the Interior in Romano Prodi's government. On 12 September 2013, President Giorgio Napolitano appointed him to the Constitutional Court of Italy, where he has served since then.Ivanoe Bonomi
Ivanoe Bonomi [iˈvaːnoe boˈnɔːmi] (18 October 1873 – 20 April 1951) was an Italian statesman before and after World War II and ruled Italy as the 25th Prime Minister of Italy.
Bonomi was born in Mantua. He was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1909, representing Mantua as a member of the Italian Socialist Party. He was among those expelled from the party in 1912, for his advocacy of reformism and moderation, as well as his support for the Italian invasion of Libya. Bonomi joined the Italian Reformist Socialist Party, and supported Italy's participation in World War I on the side of the Triple Entente.
Bonomi served as Minister of Public Works from 1916 until 1917, and as Minister of War from 1920 until 1921 - helping to negotiate a treaty with Yugoslavia (the Treaty of Rapallo). Later in 1921 he became Treasury Minister. A few months later, he became Prime Minister of Italy for the first time, in a coalition government—the first socialist to hold the post. Early in 1922, his government collapsed, and he was replaced as Prime Minister by Luigi Facta, amidst the Fascist insurgency led by Benito Mussolini. In October 1922, Mussolini gained power through the March on Rome, and Bonomi withdrew from politics.
In 1940, Bonomi joined an anti-Fascist movement. By 1943, when Mussolini was deposed, Bonomi had become a leader of the group. In June 1944, when Rome was taken by the Allies, he replaced Badoglio as Prime Minister of the new Italian government. He led Italy as the country was being gained from the Fascist Italian Social Republic and the Nazi German occupiers, and helped the country's transition to democracy.
Numerous reforms in social security were made during Bonomi's time as prime minister. A law of 18 January 1945 introduced survivors’ pensions within the INPS general scheme, based on previous contributions and insurance years, while a law of 1 March 1945 established a Social Insurance Supplementation Fund within INPS, which augmented the payments to people with lower pensions.Bonomi came near to resignation in November 1944 over war strategy, but stayed on as Prime Minister at the urging of the British government of Winston Churchill. He remained Prime Minister until 1945, by which time World War II in Europe had ended, and stayed active in the Italian government after that moment, serving on the Constituent Assembly's committee on treaties, and also representing Italy in councils of foreign ministers until 1946. In 1948, he became President of the Italian Senate, and served in that position until his death.
After having been a founding member of the Labour Democratic Party in 1943, he later joined in 1947 the Italian Democratic Socialist Party, of which he was honorary chairman until his death.
He died on 20 April 1951 in Rome, aged 77.Lettiani
Lettiani refers to the faction around Enrico Letta, Prime Minister of Italy and a leading member of the Democratic Party, a political party in Italy.
The followers of Letta are generally centrists proposing an alliance with the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats and a liberal approach to the economy. Thanks to the central position of Letta in the party, the group maintains good relations with all the other big factions of the party: Populars, Ulivists, Dalemiani and Veltroniani. In the 2009 Democratic Party leadership election the group supported Pier Luigi Bersani.Lettiani are rallied in the 360 Association.Mario Monti
Mario Monti, (born 19 March 1943) is an Italian economist who served as the Prime Minister of Italy from 2011 to 2013, despite never having been an elected politician, leading a government of technocrats in the wake of the Italian debt crisis.
Monti served as a European Commissioner from 1995 to 2004, with responsibility for the Internal Market, Services, Customs and Taxation from 1995 to 1999 and for Competition from 1999 to 2004. Monti has also been Rector and President of Bocconi University in Milan for many years. On 12 November 2011, in the midst of the European sovereign debt crisis, Monti was invited by President Giorgio Napolitano to form a new technocratic government following the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi. Monti was sworn in as Prime Minister on 16 November 2011, just a week after having been appointed a Senator for Life by President Napolitano, and initially became Minister of Economy and Finances as well, giving that portfolio up the following July. From 16 May 2013 to 17 October 2013 Monti was the President of Civic Choice, a centrist political party.Massimo D'Alema
Massimo D'Alema (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmassimo daˈlɛma]; born 20 April 1949) 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. Earlier in his career he was a member of the Italian Communist Party, and he was the first former communist to become prime minister of a NATO country and yet the only former communist prime minister of Italy.The Union (Italy)
The Union (Italian: L'Unione) was an heterogenous centre-left political and electoral alliance of political parties in Italy. The Union was the direct heir of The Olive Tree coalition which represented the centre-left in the 1996 and 2001 general elections. However, The Union also included parties of the radical left, which were not affiliated with The Olive Tree. The Union was led by Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy from April 2006 to April 2008, and former President of the European Commission. Collapsing in the wake of the 2008 Italian political crisis, the alliance was succeeded by the current-day centre-left coalition.
Prime Ministers of Italy
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