Giulio Andreotti, one of the most prominent and controversial Italian political figures, has died aged 94
In many respects, talking about Giulio Andreotti means tracing the profile of one of the men who has made the political history (and mysteries) of Italy.
In his long political career in the Christian Democracy (DC), Andreotti became one of Italy's most prominent figures: he helped drafting the Constitution, entered the Parliament in 1946 and remained there ever since -- serving as Prime Minster seven times, holding eighteen key senior Cabinet positions, and eventually seeing out his days as senator-for-life.
But the Christian Democrat who was friends with popes and cardinals was also a controversial figure who survived corruption scandals and allegations of aiding the Mafia and being connected with the "boss of the bossess" Totò Riina.
He had a reputation for cunning, and was known for his political acumen, his subtle humour and witty allusions and was admired by friends and foes for his intellectual agility.
Andreotti always kept a low profile, was (seemingly) detached from mundane events, and always demonstrated a stubborn determination to achieve his goals. His relationship with power was highly disputed, and won him the reputation of being one of the most contested figures on the Italian political scene. To quote one of the aphorisms he was famous for: "Power wears out those who do not have it".
Love him or loathe him, Andreotti was undoubtely a sophisticated Statesman, who lived through the most crucial phases of Italian politics. He certainly held the key to some of the secrets and misteries of the First Republic. These will now be buried with him forever.
|A young Giulio Andreotti in his study, with a picture of Alcide DeGasperi|
|A recent photo of the senator-for-life Andreotti|