Bettino Craxi

Bettino Craxi in Europe

Life and Work of Bettino Craxi (1934-2000)

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes bettino craxi (1934-2000) in the following terms: [1] The first Socialist Italian premier and the longest serving since World War II (he led his country for four years from 1983-7), Bettino Craxi was best known for his leading part in the Tangentopoli (‘Bribesville’) corruption scandals, which fatally undermined the public’s faith in Italian political standards and led to his flight to Tunisia in 1994 to escape a long jail sentence. In exile, Craxi saw himself as a titan in the Europeanist cause, against which the laundering of party slush funds should be counted as a trivial – not to say necessary – peccadillo. But in reality he was a domestic machine politician. Although his party was in an electoral minority behind the Christian Democrats and the Communists, he manoeuvred cleverly to turn it into a centre-left pivot, a platform from which he attacked inflation by abolishing wage indexation. In foreign affairs he took a pro-NATO line, allowing cruise missiles on Sicilian soil, but he played little part in the EU.

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Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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