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Governo Italiano

Gianni De Michelis


Gianni De Michelis
  • He was born in Venice on 26 November 1940.
  • He graduated in Industrial Chemistry. University lecturer.
  • His political career began in 1964 when he was elected as a Venice city councillor and was subsequently appointed town planning officer.
  • In 1969 he joined the Board of the Socialist Party and became the national officer for the organisation of the Party.
  • He held several ministerial posts: as Minister for State-Owned Enterprises in the 2nd Cossiga Government and in the Forlani Government, and once again in the Spadolini Governments and the 5th Fanfani Government.
  • He was subsequently appointed Minister for Labour and Social Security under the two Craxi Governments, Deputy Prime Minister in the De Mita Government, and Minister for Foreign Affairs in the 6th Andreotti Government in 1989 when the Berlin Wall was brought down and German unification took place, which De Michelis hailed as the cornerstone on which to build the new edifice of a united Europe.
  • It was during his Foreign Ministership that the Italy took over the rotating Presidency of the EC: the Italian Presidency played a major part when laying the foundations for the process leading up to the introduction of the euro. In November 1990 an Extraordinary European Council was convened in Rome which expressed the desire to gradually transform the Community into a Union. In December that year the Heads of State and Government once again met in Rome at the end of the Italian Presidency. The Rome European Council, despite the serious international crisis following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the imminent Gulf War, convened two Intergovernmental Conferences, one on political union and one on monetary and economic union, which led on 7 February 1992 to the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and the birth of the European Union.
  • As Minister for Foreign Affairs he had to address the issue of the 2 August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The United Nations imposed an economic embargo on the invading country: as part of this initiative and in accordance with the decisions taken by the WEU in this regard Italy sent three ships to the Persian Gulf, joined by eight Tornado fighter planes and another frigate.
  • In 1991 when the United Nations ultimatum to Iraq expired, on 17 January Parliament voted in favour of Italian air and naval forces taking part in the military operations in the Persian Gulf.
  • In April 1991, Andreotti, as head of his 7th Government, reconfirmed De Michelis in the post of Minister for Foreign Affairs.


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