Giuliano Amato

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Giuliano Amato (Torino May 13, 1938) is an Italian politician. He was Prime Minister of Italy twice, first from 1992 to 1993 and then from 2000 to 2001. He was more recently Vice President of the Convention on the Future of Europe that drafted the new European Constitution. He is commonly nicknamed dottor Sottile, ("Dr. Thin").

Amato grew up in Tuscany. He received a first degree in law from the University of Pisa in 1960 and a master degree in comparative law from Columbia University in 1963. After teaching at the Universities of Modena, Perugia and Florence, he worked as professor of Italian and Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Rome La Sapienza from 1975 to 1997.

Amato began his political career in 1958, when he joined the Italian Socialist Party. He was a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 1993. He was undersecretary of state to the Prime Minister's office from 1983 to 1987, deputy prime minister and minister for the treasury from 1987 to 1988, then again treasury minister, from 1988 to 1989.

From June 1992 to April 1993, Amato served as Prime Minister. During those ten months, a series of corruption scandals rocked Italy and swept away almost an entire class of political leaders, while Amato himself was never implicated, notwithstanding how close he was to Bettino Craxi, recognized as a central figure in the corruption system.

As Prime Minister, Amato responded effectively to two devaluations of the Lira in the wake of currency speculation that led Italy to be expelled from the European Monetary System by cutting the budget deficit drastically, thus taking the first steps in the road that would bring Italy to adopt the Euro. He asked Italians "to put one hand on their hearts and get their wallets out with the other" to save the country from bankruptcy.

At a point, his government was harshly contested because of a decree that suddenly moved the competence for corruption investigations into the hands of the police, which, being controlled directly by the government, would have not been independent. Fearing that the new system would have effectively blocked investigations on political corruption, Italians took to the streets in massive, spontaneous rallies. President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro refused to sign the decree, deeming it blatantly uncostitutional. While his justice minister Giovanni Conso took the blame, it has been disputed whether Amato was a victim of circumstances or whether he really wanted to save the corruption-ridden system.

At the end of his period as prime minister, Amato gave a speech to the Parliament in which he solemnly promised that the at end of his term he would retire from politics, stressing that his was a true commitment and that he would not break this promise as some politicians (whom he characterized as "mandarins") used to do. However, this promise was short-lived; Amato has come regularly under criticism for having made such a solemn commitment and failýng to keep it.

Amato was President of Italian antitrust authority from November 1994 to December 1997, minister for institutional reforms in Massimo D'Alema's first government from October 1998 to May 1999, and, once again, treasury minister in D'Alema's second government from December 1999 to April 2000. Amato was nearly elected President of Italy and a close contender to replace Michel Camdessus as head of the International Monetary Fund.

Amato served as prime minister again from April 2000 to May 2001. He promoted economic competitiveness as well as social protection. In addition to economic reforms, he pushed ahead with political and institutional reforms, trying to deal with a weak executive and fragmented legislature.

In December 2001, European Union leaders at the European Council in Laeken apponted Amato and former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene to be Vice Presidents of the Convention on the Future of Europe to assist former French President ValÚry Giscard d'Estaing in the drafting of the new European Constitution.

Amato is currently a Member of the Senate representing the constituency of Grosseto in Tuscany.

Amato is married to Ms Diana Amato, a professor of Family Law at the University of Rome. They have two children, Elisa and Lorenzo, and three grandchildren, Giulia, Marco and Simone.


Preceded by:
Giulio Andreotti
Prime Minister of Italy
1992-1993
Succeeded by:
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Preceded by:
Massimo D'Alema
Prime Minister of Italy
2000-2001
Succeeded by:
Silvio Berlusconi

Template:End box


External links

es:Giuliano Amato fr:Giuliano Amato it:Giuliano Amato

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