Gronchi, Giovanni

(1887–1978)
   Born in Pontedera (Pisa), by his early twenties this Tuscan schoolteacher was among those liberal Catholics who eventually formed the Partito Popolare Italiano/Italian People’s Party (PPI) in 1919. After World War I, he was active in Azione Cattolica/Catholic Action (ACI); by 1922, Gronchi was at the head of Catholic labor unions. He publicly opposed Pius XI’s involving Azione Cattolica in labor questions, fearful that it would inevitably lead to trade unions’ subordination to the regime. When Gronchi realized the futility of his struggle for autonomy, he repeatedly warned that tying the Church closely to the regime could only damage the Church, the worker, and the nation, should Fascist militarism and incompetence lead to disaster. Moreover, he argued that the new state, far from being consonant with Catholic doctrine as expressed in Rerum Novarum, was an instrument for the imposition of the state’s will. Dissenting from the pope’s policies, Gronchi withdrew from political activity until 1943. In September 1943, the new government of Pietro Badogliomade it possible for party life to resume. Gronchi soon emerged as a major figure in the nascent Democrazia Cristiana/Christian Democracy Party (DC). Gronchi was a conspicuous figure on the left of the DC and eventually broke with the more centrist position of Alcide De Gasperi. He advocated an independent Italian foreign policy within Western Europe and an “opening” to the socialists. By combining their strength, the Catholic and socialist masses could, in his view, create a left Catholic regime in Italy. In 1955 these progressive political views attracted the combined votes of the Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist Party (PCI) and the Partito Socialista Italiano/Italian Socialist Party (PSI) and allowed the DC to propel him into the presidency of the republic, where he remained until 1962, when he became a life senator. While president, his official trip to the Soviet Union in February 1960 exposed him to criticism from the nationalist and conservative right. Active in the Senate as he had been in the party, he served on the foreign affairs committee and—in the last Parliamentof his life (he died in Romein 1978)—on the defense committee.
   See also Tambroni, Fernando.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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  • Giovanni Gronchi — (* 10. September 1887 in Pontedera; † 17. Oktober 1978) war der dritte Präsident der Republik Italien von 1955 bis 1962. Gronchi war von 1948 bis 1955 Präsident des italienischen Abgeordnetenhauses und wurde am 29. April 1955 zum Präsidenten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Gronchi —   [ groȖki], Giovanni, italienischer Politiker, * Pontedera (Provinz Pisa) 10. 9. 1887, ✝ Rom 17. 10. 1978; vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg Mitgründer, seit 1919 Leiter der katholischen Gewerkschaftsorganisation, 1919 26 Abgeordneter, war 1919… …   Universal-Lexikon

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