Heard in Europe

89-year-old Italian President Giorgio Napolitano handed over his resignation today (14 January) [read more].

It seems that the next Italian President will be a woman, sources in Rome say. Two female names are circulating: former EU Commissioner and former Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, as well current Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti.

Although less popular in her own country, Emma Bonino commands huge respect in Brussels, where she is remembered as the brightest of Commissioners in the Jacques Santer Commission. She was responsible for fisheries, consumer protection and humanitarian action, the dossiers of which today three different Commissioners are in charge of. Sadly, Bonino has recently announced that she has lung cancer, and that her medical treatment would be “absolute priority” in the next months.

Roberta Pinotti, a school teacher by background, began her political career as activist of the Communist Party. Matto Renzi appointed her defense minister, but it was his predecessor, Enrico Letta who chosen Pinotti for undersecretary of state in the Ministry of Defence.

But more importantly, the next president will be decided between the two Italian strongmen, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Silvio Berlusconi, rumours say.


Photograph courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Defense. All Rights Reserved.

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