Massimo D'Alema

Massimo D'Alema
The Honourable
Massimo D'Alema
77th 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
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
17 May 2006 – 8 May 2008
Prime Minister Romano Prodi
Deputy Ugo Intini
Patrizia Sentinelli
Franco Danieli
Preceded by Gianfranco Fini
Succeeded by Franco Frattini
Personal details
Born 20 April 1949 (1949-04-20) (age 62)
Rome, Italy
Political party Democratic Party (since 2007)
Other political
Communist Party (Before 1991)
Democratic Party of the Left (1991–1998)
Democrats of the Left (1998–2007)
Spouse(s) Linda Giuva
Children Giulia D'Alema
Francesco D'Alema
Residence Rome, Italy
Alma mater Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Incomplete)
Profession Journalist

Massimo D'Alema (born 20 April 1949[1]) is an Italian politician. He is also a journalist and a former national secretary of the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS). He was the 77th Prime Minister from 1998 to 2000, and later he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2008.



Massimo D'Alema was born in Rome,[1] the son of Giuseppe D'Alema, a communist politician. He is married to Linda Giuva, a professor at the University of Siena, and has two children, Giulia and Francesco. He is an atheist.[2]

D'Alema's first steps in politics were in the 1970s as secretary of the Italian Federation of Young Communists (FGCI). 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.

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.

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 April 2006 election, D'Alema was initially tipped to become President of the Italian Republic once the Chamber of Deputies reconvened, but D'Alema himself stepped back, endorsing the official candidate of the centre-left coalition, Giorgio Napolitano, who was elected. Immediately following the April 2006 election, he was proposed as the future President of the Chamber of Deputies. 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.[1]

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.[3] 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.[4]




  • 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


  • 1970-1976: Town councillor of Pisa
  • 1985-1987: Regional Councillor of Apulia
  • 1987-2004: Chairman of the parliamentary group
  • 1987–present: Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy
  • 1996-1998: Chairman of the committee for constitutional reform
  • 1998-2000: Prime Minister
  • 2006-2008: Minister of Foreign Affairs


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. He received criticism for this, as he is perceived by part of left-wingers to be too soft on Berlusconi, and the publishing of his books was seen by them as a kind of payback[citation needed].

  • Dialogo su Berlinguer ("Dialogue on Berlinguer"), with Paul Ginsborg, 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, Bompiani, 1998, ISBN 88-452-3777-X;
  • Kosovo. Gli italiani e la guerra ("Kosovo. Italians and war"), with Federico Rampini, Mondadori, 1999, ISBN 88-04-47302-9;
  • Oltre la paura ("Beyond fear"), Mondadori, 2002, ISBN 88-04-51206-7.


External links

Italian Chamber of Deputies
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Party political offices
Preceded by
Achille Occhetto
Secretary of the Democrats of the Left
Succeeded by
Walter Veltroni
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
Gianfranco Fini
Deputy Prime Minister of Italy
Served alongside: Francesco Rutelli
Preceded by
Giulio Tremonti
Preceded by
Francesco Rutelli
President of COPASIR
since 2010

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