Casa pays tribute to controversial Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti

Christian-democrat giant and controversial Italian PM was Nationalist MEP David Casa’s inspiration to enter politics 

Andreotti died in 2013, capping off his career as the giant of Italian and international politics
Andreotti died in 2013, capping off his career as the giant of Italian and international politics

Nationalist MEP David Casa described the seven-times Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti as one of the politicians who inspired him to enter politics, at a celebration of the Christian-democrat's centenary at the European Parliament. 

Casa had accompanied former prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami and the late Guido de Marco to meetings with Andreotti in Rome. “Without him knowing, it was these meetings that gave birth to my desire to enter politics and work for the betterment of people’s and businesses’ quality of life. Andreotti was a politician dedicated to the constituency who worked for peoples’ needs.” 

Andreotti died in 2013, capping off his career as the giant of Italian and international politics but in his later years being indicted in 1997 as a mafioso: he was first found not guilty of ordering the 1979 murder of rightwing journalist Carmine Pecorelli, a ruling overturned by an appeals court in 1999 that sentenced him to 24 years’ jail, which was finally overturned by a court of cassation in 2003. 

Casa said he met Andreotti during his 1986 visit to Malta with former prime minister Bettino Craxi durig the signing of the first Italy-Malta protocol, at the inauguration of the PN’s AZAD headquarters in 1990, and at the commemoration of former Nationalist prime minister Gorg Borg Olivier in Malta. 

“Andreotti was a strong and faithful believer in the Italian justice system, even when he was subjected to criminal prosecution,” Casa said. 

“He was never a populist who complained of ‘unjust justice’, even though it looked like it. He was always ready to cooperate with justice, so that truth be made clear,” Casa said. 

Indeed the stoic Andreotti was philosophical about the 1999 sentencing: “To give 24 years to a man who is over 80 is almost like wishing him a long life,” he had quipped. 

In Italy however, memories of ‘Il Divo Giulio’ will also be tied to the corruption investigations of the Tangentopoli affair, when in 1992 Andreotti’s right-hand man in Sicily, Salvo Lima, was murdered by the mafia: widely regarded as a revenge for Andreotti’s decision to call off a pact of mutual tolerance for Cosa Nostra.  

Lima was Andreotti’s link with the mafia, as revealed by mafia turncoat Tommaso Buscetta, which would lead to an investigation by a Palermo court that accepted that such mafia links had existed, but only until 1980, and that Andreotti could no longer be prosecuted. 

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