Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
ROME

Italy mourns seven-time premier Andreotti

English
© ANSA

Rome, May 6 - Tributes from across the political
spectrum to seven-time Christian Democrat (DC) premier Giulio
Andreotti flowed in following the postwar political giant's
death on Monday at 94.
Andreotti was a constant, extremely high-profile
protagonist on Italy's political scene after World War II,
Premier Enrico Letta said.
Centre-left Letta, a former DC youth leader, said the
94-year-old Andreotti had been "uninterruptedly present" in
Italy's postwar institutions.
"An actor of extremely high profile for more than 60 years
of public life has left us," he said.
The Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, remembered him
as someone "who only history can judge".
In a message to the controversial ex-premier's family,
Napolitano commented on the centrist's "great role" and
"lifelong experience" in Italian politics.
"I extend the utmost salute of the Republic to a figure who
lived through 50 years of Italian history, who played a great
role in the country's institutions, and who represented Italy in
foreign relations and in the construction of Europe with
exceptional continuity," added the president, a former
Communist.
Former premier Silvio Berlusconi called him "a man of
government who made Italian history" and a victim of "an unjust
battle" waged by the Italian left.
"The left carried out a battle against him unworthy of
civil society, based on demonizing the adversary and judicial
persecution - an ordeal that Andreotti overcame with dignity and
composure," said the center-right leader.
Berlusconi, who has long blamed allegedly leftist
magistrates for his ongoing legal troubles, was among the most
vocally outraged when Andreotti was given a 24-year jail term in
2002 for conspiracy to murder a muckraking journalist, Mino
Pecorelli, in 1979.
At the time Berlusconi described Andreotti as the victim of
a "judicial system gone crazy" and said the judiciary needed to
be taken apart and "reconstructed".
The State's highest appeals court in October 2003
overturned the murder verdict.
The leader of Italy's centrist UDC party remembered
Andreotti as "a great figure" he considered a friend while
acknowledging his controversial status.
"He was a statesman about whom much has been said, good and
bad, and history will be a better judge than many of his
detractors during his lifetime," said Pier Ferdinando Casini.
The small UDC is one of the parties that was formed from
the rubble after Andreotti's Christian DC party collapsed during
the Bribesville scandals in the early 1990s.
Italy's first former Communist premier said Andreotti was
"one of the greatest political figures of the postwar era".
Acknowledging Andreotti's controversial status, Massimo
D'Alema of the center-left Democratic Party said his political
adversary nevertheless "helped strengthen our country's
international role, thereby contributing significantly to the
history of the Republic of Italy".
Some voices from Italian politics were more severe.
Former anti-corruption prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro said
Monday that his death does not cancel out his murky past.
"The death of any human being as such commands respect, but
respect for his life story is another matter", said Di Pietro,
the founder of the centrist Italy of Values (IdV) party, a
former minister under the center-left Prodi government and a
fierce opponent of former premier Silvio Berlusconi.
"That of Giulio Andreotti is written, most of all in the
reams of court documents about him, which cannot and must not
ever be erased".
Di Pietro was echoed by anti-Mafia prosecutor and
politician Antonio Ingroia, from the leftist Civic Action party.
"His cynical pragmatism led him to make deals with the
Mafia. Andreotti, a man of many shadows and little light, may be
dead, but his ideology certainly isn't", said Ingroia, who as a
prosecutor went after high-level politicians for alleged
collusion with the Mafia.
Others overlooked his colossal influence on Italian
politics in light of other passions, such as soccer.
AS Roma captain Francesco Totti said Andreotti, a longtime
fan, will continue supporting his beloved hometown club "from
Heaven".
"I am sure he will continue to support us from Heaven too,
with the same passion (he showed) throughout his life," said
Totti.

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