West News Wire: According to the country’s press agency ANSA, former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has passed away. He was the first president to be reelected in the nation’s history. He was 98.
The previous president, who presided over the nation from 2006 to 2015, became the first in history to win reelection. In the modern history of the Italian Republic, he served as president for the greatest period of time and lived the longest.
He was also the first representative of the Italian Communist Party to travel to the US. He came to the country in 1978 to give a number of lectures at Harvard and other prestigious universities.
The Naples-born politician came to be known as “Re Giorgio” (“King George”) for providing stability amid the turbulence of Italian party politics and for ensuring a smooth transition of executive power.
Facing a deadlocked parliament in 2013, Napolitano reluctantly agreed to stay in office after his seven-year presidential term had expired. He stepped down in 2015.
With approval ratings that consistently hovered around 80% throughout his lengthy term, Napolitano was viewed by many as the “anti-Berlusconi” figure. Silvio Berlusconi, a former Italian prime minister who passed away in June, was a controversial figure who was elected three times.
However, Napolitano’s detractors referred to him as a “interventionist,” citing the extraordinarily active part he played in politics, despite the fact that the Italian presidency has always been a ceremonial and non-executive position.
Napolitano, who devoted more than six decades of his life to politics, made contributions to Italian politics and governance in a variety of capacities, including as a key player in the Italian Communist Party and as a member of the Italian and European Parliaments. He assumed the position of president of the Chamber of Deputies of Parliament in 1992, and from 1996 to 1998 he was the interior minister.
In 2005, he was appointed Senator for Life by former President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
He is survived by his wife Clio and his sons, Giulio and Giorgio.