Amato, Giuliano

(1938– )
   The only leading member of the Partito Socialista Italiano/Italian Socialist Party (PSI) to emerge unscathed from the corruption scandals of 1992–1993, Giuliano Amato is an academic lawyer and political theorist by profession; indeed, he is widely regarded as one of Italy’s most able constitutionalists and intellectuals.
   Elected to Parliamentin 1983, Amato passed to high ministerial office during the government of Giovanni Goria, becoming both vice premier and minister of the treasury. He continued as treasury minister under Ciriaco De Mita. In June 1992, Amato was chosen to head a government that would prove to be the most troubled administration of contemporary Italian history. Within weeks of taking office, the lira collapsed dramatically, the parties forming his majority had become targets for the judiciary, the mafia had murdered a famous prosecuting attorney, and Amato had to enact the largest act of budgetary belt-tightening since World War II—nearly 90 trillion lire (at the time, U.S. $60 billion) of new taxes and spending cuts. His government, which was rocked by regular ministerial resignations as the corruption investigations crept higher and higher up the political ladder, eventually fell apart in April 1993, after the referendums on political and electoral reforms. Amato, however, was personally untouched by the scandals. In 1995, Amato became the head of the Italian antitrust authority, a role of some importance since his tenure in the job coincided with a wave of privatizations by the Italian state. In 2000–2001, he briefly headed a second government, but his spell in office was obstructed by the litigious character of his majority. Somewhat to his chagrin, Amato was passed over as the center-left Olive Tree Coalition’scandidate for premier in the May 2001 general elections. Amato subsequently became vice president of the “convention” charged with drawing up a Constitution for the European Union (EU). Amato is a likely future president of the Republic. He is certainly one of the few senior politicians in Italy with a clean past, substantial ministerial experience, high intellect, and international reputation.
   See also Currency.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

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