Giolitti, Antonio

(1915– )
   Grandson of Giovanni Giolitti, Antonio Giolitti was a hero of the wartime resistance (he was wounded and almost killed in combat in 1944), who began his political career in the Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist party (PCI). He was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1946 and served as a deputy for the PCI until 1953. In 1956, he was the most prominent leader of the party to resign his membership following the Soviet repression of the democratic revolution in Hungary. The PCI backed the Soviet line and denounced the Hungarian revolutionaries as fascists and reactionaries intent on the abolition of socialism. Giolitti, along with many of the party’s intellectuals, could not stomach the party line on this issue. Membership in the PCI was for him no longer compatible with the ideas and objectives that he regarded as necessary for the victory of socialism. He joined the Partito Socialista Italiano/Italian Socialist party (PSI) in 1957 and became a PSI deputy in the elections of 1958. Giolitti served as budget minister at various times between 1963 and 1974 and then in 1977 became European commissioner for regional policy during the presidency of Roy Jenkins, a post that he retained until 1985 under Jenkins’s successor, Gaston Thorn. Giolitti, disturbed by the policies of Bettino Craxi, made his peace with the PCI in 1987 and served until 1992 as a senator for the independent left. Unusually for an Italian politician, he has published his memoirs, which are an important source for contemporary historians.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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