Antonio Bassolino, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was born on 20 March, 1947 in Afragola, Campania. Antonio Bassolino is an Italian politician. Antonio Bassolino is currently President of the Campania region.
At the age of 17 he entered the Federation of Young Italian Communists, and in 1970 became member of the regional council for the Italian Communist Party (PCI), and, the following year, secretary of the party section in Avellino. Antonio Bassolino held the latter position until 1975, when he became regional secretary for the PCI; from 1972, he was member of the party’s national committee. In 1987, he was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in the college of Catanzaro, becoming president of the Parliament media committee in 1990.
In the process leading to the split-up of the PCI into the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS) and the Party of the Communist Refoundation (PRC), Antonio Bassolino represented the moderate wing that sought mediation. Eventually, he joined the PDS.
In 1992, he was re-elected to the Chamber, and, in 1993, he was sent to Naples to reform the local section of PDS — which had been involved in the Tangentopoli bribe scandal. It was there that he gained fame as a “hardman,” a reputation which surfaced during the subsequent election for mayor, which he won by defeating the right-wing candidate, Alessandra Mussolini.
Antonio Bassolino’s years as mayor of Naples are generally viewed as a period of civil, economical and social renaissance for the city. In 1997 he was re-elected, this time with the 72.9% of the votes. In October 1998, Premier Massimo D’Alema nominated him Minister of Welfare; however, after the assassination of his advisor Massimo D’Antona in October 1999, Antonio Bassolino resigned in order to focus his activities on Naples.
In 2000, he ran for the presidency of Campania, which raised some controversies. Antonio Bassolino was elected with 54.3% of the votes, and, in the elections of April 2005, with 61.6%. Among his accomplishments as governor of Campania are the construction of a regional metropolitan rail service and the new TAV station for high-speed trains in his native Afragola. Antonio Bassolino received the “Gold Star” Prize for his commitment to developing tourism and cultural ventures in Naples during his years as mayor. Antonio Bassolino’s essays include Mezzogiorno alla prova (1980) and La repubblica delle città (1996).
However, it has been argued that, under his administration, the regional debt has doubled. Moreover and more importantly Antonio Bassolino has a considerable share of responsibility in the environmental disaster in the Campania region due to the deficiencies of the rubbish collection and treatment systems. In fact Antonio Bassolino is 1 of the 29 people remanded for trial and accused of involvement in ongoing aggravated fraud against the State and fraud regarding public works. The collapse of the services which were supposed to collect and treat the rubbish led to accumulation or garbage in the streets of the major urban centres to the point that schools and other public places had to be closed for some days and tourism declined substantially in 2008. As a result of this an increasing number of citizens and associations have been vocally calling for Antonio Bassolino’s resignation.
Antonio Bassolino is married to Anna Maria Carloni and was elected to the Senate in the XV legislature.
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