Francesco Cossiga

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Francesco Cossiga (26 July 1928 – 17 August 2010[1]) was an Italian politician, the 63rd Prime Minister and the eighth President of the Italian Republic. He was also a professor of constitutional law at the University of Sassari.

Cossiga was born in Sassari in the north of Sardinia.[1] He started his political career during World War II. His name is now pronounced Italian pronunciation: [kosˈsiːɡa], but it was originally pronounced [ˈkɔssiɡa], with the stress on the first syllable, meaning "Corsica".[2] He was the cousin of Enrico Berlinguer.[3]


Minister for the Christian-Democracy

He was a minister several times for the Democrazia Cristiana party (DC), notably during his stay at Viminale (Ministry for internal affairs) where he re-structured the Italian police, civil protection and secret services. In 1977, when Cossiga was minister of internal affairs, police squads organized by Cossiga shot against a demonstration in Rome, killing student Giorgiana Masi. Cossiga for many years stated that she was killed by her companions.[4]

He was in-charge during the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro by Red Brigades, and he resigned when Moro was found dead in 1978.[5] According to Italian journalist Enrico Deaglio, Cossiga to justify his lack of action "accused the leaders of CGIL and of the Italian Communist Party to know the location where Moro was detained".[4] Cossiga was also minister of internal affairs when Fascist terrorists bombed Bologna station in 1980. He initially declared that it was a Fascist attack, but he later stated it was a Palestinian transport of weapons which went wrong. He also supported the innocence of Giusva Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro, who were later condemned for the bombing and for numerous murders, declaring: "They are good guys and they want me well."[4]

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