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Senator
 Francesco Cossiga


In office
3 July 1985 – 28 April 1992
Prime Minister Bettino Craxi
Amintore Fanfani
Giovanni Goria
Ciriaco De Mita
Giulio Andreotti
Preceded by Alessandro Pertini
Succeeded by Oscar Luigi Scalfaro

In office
4 August 1979 – 18 October 1980
President Alessandro Pertini
Preceded by Giulio Andreotti
Succeeded by Arnaldo Forlani

In office
12 July 1983 – 3 July 1985
Preceded by Vittorino Colombo
Succeeded by Amintore Fanfani

In office
29 July 1976 – 11 May 1978
Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti
Preceded by Aldo Moro
Succeeded by Giulio Andreotti

In office
28 April 1992 – lifetime
Constituency Former President

Born 26 July 1928 (1928-07-26) (age 81)
Sassari, Sardinia, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party Christian Democracy
Spouse(s) Giuseppa Sigurani
Religion Roman Catholicism

Francesco Cossiga (born 26 July 1928[1]) is an Italian politician and former Prime Minister and the eighth President of the Italian Republic. He was also a professor of law at University of Sassari.

Contents

Early career

Cossiga was born in Sassari in the north of Sardinia.[1] He started his political career during World War II in groups of Catholic reference. His name is commonly pronounced Italian pronunciation: [kosˈsiːɡa], but it was originally [ˈkɔssiɡa], with the stress on the first syllable, meaning "Corsica"[2]. He is the cousin of Enrico Berlinguer.

He has been a minister several times for Democrazia Cristiana (DC); notably during his stay at Viminale (Ministry for internal affairs) where he re-structured Italian police, civil protection and secret services organisations. He was in charge during the kidnapping and murdering of Aldo Moro by Red Brigades and resigned when Moro was found dead in 1978.

Election as President of Italian Senate of Republic

During the ninth republican legislature, he was elected President of Italian Senate 12 July 1983, a position he held until 24 June 1985, when he became President of Italian Republic.

Election as President of Italy

Resigning from his post, he earned the respect of the opposition (in particular of the Italian Communist Party) because he appeared as the only member of the government who took responsibility for the tragic conclusion of the events. This led to his election in 1985 as President of the Republic (Head of State), in which for the first time ever a candidate won at the first ballot (where a majority of over ⅔ is necessary, which would subsequently decrease in later ballots). The only other president of the Italian Republic elected at the first ballot was Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in 1999.

The Cossiga Presidency

Cossiga's presidency was unremarkable for its first five years, as most presidents until then refrained entering the open political debate in order to remain figures of reference for the whole nation.

However, in his last two years as a President, Cossiga began to express opinions, at times virulent, against the Italian political system. In his opinion, Italian parties, and especially DC and PCI, had to take into account the deep change that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War have brought.

Cossiga while President.

These declarations, soon dubbed "esternazioni", or "mattock blows" (picconate), were considered by many inappropriate for a President and, often, beyond his constitutional powers (like threatening to dissolve the Parliament to change government policies or threatening to stop sittings of the CSM - the self-governing council of Italian judiciary -, with police force if it was going to debate "sensitive" informations). Cossiga declared he was just "taking pleasure in removing some sand from my shoes". Cossiga was supported by the secretary of the Italian Socialist Party, Bettino Craxi.

Tension developed between Cossiga and the President of the Council of Ministers Giulio Andreotti emerged when Andreotti revealed the existence of Gladio, a Stay-behind organization with the official aim of countering a possible Soviet invasion through sabotage and guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines. Cossiga declared his involvement in the setup of the organization. The Communist Party started a procedure for impeachment (Presidents of Italy can be impeached only for high treason against the State or Attempt to overthrow the Constitution). Though he threatened to stop his impeachment procedure with the dissolution of the Parliament, in the end the request of impeachment was dismissed and Cossiga was never impeached.

Cossiga resigned two months before the end of his term, on 28 April 1992. He was voted again for president by the Italian Social Movement, which had supported him in his campaigns.

Life senator

After his resignation from Quirinale (the Roman hill in which is the office of the Head of State), he is a lifetime senator, like all the former Presidents of the Republic, since 1992. His current title is President Emeritus of the Italian Republic.

In February 1998 Cossiga created the UDR party (Unione Democratica per la Repubblica), declarately a centrist political formation. The UDR was a crucial component of the majority that supported the D'Alema government in October 1998, after the fall of the Prodi government which lost a confidence vote.

Cossiga declared that his support for D'Alema was meant to end the conventional exclusion of the former Communist Party (PCI) leaders from the premiership in Italy.

In 1999 UDR was dissolved. Cossiga returned to his senator for life activity, with a prominent interest in security matters, as his parliamentary record shows (see [1]).

He remains a vocal commentator of Italian politics.

In May 2006 he brought in a bill that would allow the region of South Tyrol to hold a referendum, where the local electorate could decide whether to a) stay with the Republic of Italy, b) become fully independent, c) return to Austria, d) or become a part of Germany. [3]

On 27 November 2006, he resigned from his position as lifetime senator. His resignation was however rejected on 31 January 2007 by a vote of the Senate.

Statements to Corriere della Sera regarding 9/11

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera[4] Cossiga made some interesting comments regarding the alleged Osama Bin Laden 9/11 confession video of 13 December 2001:

"A quanto mi è stato detto domani o dopo domani la più potente catena quotidiani-periodici del nostro Paese dovrebbe dare le prove, con uno scoop eccezionale, che il video (in realtà un audio, ndr) nel quale riappare Osama Bin Laden, leader del 'Grande e potente movimento di Rinvicita Islamica Al Qaeda', che Allah lo benedica!, nel quale sono formulate minacce anche all'ex premier Silvio Berlusconi, sarebbe nient'altro che un videomontaggio realizzato negli studi di Mediaset a Milano e fatto giungere alla rete televisiva islamista Al Jazira che lo ha ampiamente diffuso.
"La 'trappola' sarebbe stata montata, secondo la sopra citata catena di stampa, per sollevare una ondata di solidarietà verso Berlusconi, nel momento nel quale si trova in difficoltà anche a causa di un altro scoop della stessa catena giornalistica sugli intrecci tra la Rai e Mediaset», continua il senatore a vitaDa ambienti vicini a Palazzo Chigi, centro nevralgico di direzione dell'intelligence italiana, si fa notare che la non autenticità del video è testimoniata dal fatto che Osama Bin Laden in esso 'confessa' che Al Qaeda sarebbe stato l'autore dell'attentato dell'11 settembre alle due torri in New York, mentre tutti gli ambienti democratici d'America e d'Europa, con in prima linea quelli del centrosinistra italiano, sanno ormai bene che il disastroso attentato è stato pianificato e realizzato dalla Cia americana e dal Mossad con l'aiuto del mondo sionista per mettere sotto accusa i Paesi arabi e per indurre le potenze occidentali ad intervenire sia in Iraq sia in Afghanistan."
"As I’ve been told, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow [interview appeared on 30 november 2007] the most important chain of newspapers of our country should give the proof, with an exceptional scoop, that the video (which in reality is an audio tape, NdR) in which appears Osama, leader of “the great and powerful movement of islamic revenge Al Quaeda” - God bless him! - and in which are formulated threats to our ex president Berlusconi, is nothing more than a fake realized inside Mediaset studios [the huge television group owned by Berlusconi] in Milan and sent to arabic television station Al Jazeera.
The trap was organized to create solidarity for Berlusconi, who is having lot of problems related to the tangle between RAI and Mediaset. From circles around Palazzo Chigi, nerve centre of direction of Italian intelligence, it is noted that the non-authenticity of the video is testified from the fact that Osama bin Laden in it 'confessed' that Al Qaeda was the author of the attack of the 11 September on the Twin Towers in New York, while all of the democratic circles of America and of Europe, in the front lines being those of the Italian centre-left, now know well that the disastrous attack was planned and realized by the American CIA and Mossad with the help of the Zionist world to put under accusation the Arabic Countries and to persuade the Western powers to intervene in Iraq and Afghanistan."

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Aldo Moro
Italian Minister of the Interior
1976 – 1978
Succeeded by
Giulio Andreotti
Preceded by
Giulio Andreotti
Prime Minister of Italy
1979 – 1980
Succeeded by
Arnaldo Forlani
Preceded by
Vittorino Colombo
President of the Italian Senate
1983 – 1985
Succeeded by
Amintore Fanfani
Preceded by
Sandro Pertini
President of the Italian Republic
1985 - 1992
Succeeded by
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Franco Bile
President of the Italian Constitutional Court
Italian order of precedence
Former President of the Italian Republic
Succeeded by
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
Former President of the Italian Republic
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Masayoshi Ohira
Chair of the G8
1980
Succeeded by
Pierre E. Trudeau







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