Letta, Enrico, 1966–, Italian political leader, b. Pisa. He actively entered politics in 1994, joining the center-left Italian People's party. He held a post in the finance ministry as Italy prepared for the euro and shortly after was appointed (1998) minister of European affairs, becoming the youngest member of the cabinet since the end of World War II. He was subsequently (1999–2001) minister of industry, but left the cabinet when Berlusconi's coalition won the election in 2001. That year he won a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, serving there until 2004 and then again from 2006; from 2004 to 2006 he was a member of the European parliament. In 2006 he became secretary of the council of ministers in the government of Romano Prodi, succeeding his uncle, Gianni Letta, who had held the post in the Berlusconi cabinet. Letta was (2007) a founding member of the left-center Democratic party (PD) and ran unsuccessfully for its leadership; he became deputy party leader in 2009. After two months of deadlock following the 2013 election, President Napolitano named Letta premier, and he soon formed a broad coalition government. He resigned in early 2014 after conflicts with the new PD leader, Matteo Renzi, who accused Letta of proceeding too slowly with reforms.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian History: Biographies