Napolitano, Giorgio, 1925–, Italian political leader, b. Naples. He studied law at the Univ. of Naples, and was a member of the Communist party from 1945 until its dissolution in 1991, when he joined the Democratic party of the Left, later the Democrats of the Left. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies (1953–1996), he served as its president (1992–94) and as minister of the interior (1996–98). In 2006 he became the first former Communist to be elected Italy's president. After the country's large public debt and stagnant growth led to a financial crisis in 2011, he used his usually ceremonial post to push for reforms, including an austerity budget and election law changes. In 2013 he became the first Italian president to be reelected when other candidates failed to receive broad support.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.