Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
|President of Italy|
18 May 1999 - 15 May 2006
|Oscar Luigi Scalfaro|
|Prime Minister of Italy|
28 April 1993 - 10 May 1994
|President||Oscar Luigi Scalfaro|
|Minister of Treasury, Budget and |
17 July 1996 - 13 May 1999
|Lamberto Dini (Treasury) |
Mario Arcelli (Budget)
|Minister of the Interior|
19 April 1994 - 10 May 1994
|Minister of Tourism and Entertainment|
28 April 1993 - 10 May 1994
|Governor of the Bank of Italy|
8 October 1979 - 29 April 1993
|Director General of the Bank of Italy|
28 June 1978 - 8 October 1979
|Member of the Senate|
15 May 2006 - 16 September 2016
|Born||9 December 1920|
Livorno, Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy
Rome, Lazio, Italy
|Political party||PdA (1943-1947)|
|Height||1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)|
|Alma mater||Scuola Normale of Pisa|
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (Italian pronunciation: ['karlo ad'dzeo 't?ampi] ; 9 December 1920 - 16 September 2016) was an Italian politician and banker who was the 49th prime minister of Italy from 1993 to 1994 and the tenth president of Italy from 1999 to 2006.
He received a B.A. in ancient Greek literature and classical philology in 1941 from the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, one of the country's most prestigious universities, defending a thesis entitled Favorino d'Arelate e la consolazione ?  under the direction of the Hellenist Augusto Mancini. Then he was called to military duty in Albania as a lieutenant. On 8 September 1943, on the date of the armistice with the Allies, he refused to remain in the Fascist Italian Social Republic, and took refuge in Abruzzo, in Scanno. He subsequently managed to pass the lines and reach Bari, where he joined the Partito d'Azione (and thus the Italian resistance movement).
In 1946 he married Franca Pilla. That same year, he obtained a B.A. in law from the University of Pisa and began working at the Banca d'Italia. He also joined the CGIL (Trade Union), which he left in 1980.
In 1960, he was called to work in the central administration of the Bank of Italy, where he became Secretary General in 1973, Vice Director General in 1976, and Director General in 1978. In October 1979, he was nominated Governor of the Bank of Italy and President of the national Bureau de Change, positions he filled until 1993.
Ciampi was the first non-parliamentarian prime minister of Italy in more than 100 years. From April 1993 to May 1994 he oversaw a technical government. Later, as treasury minister from 1996 to May 1999 in the governments of Romano Prodi and Massimo D'Alema, he was credited with adopting the euro currency. He personally chose the Italian design for the 1-euro coin, whereas all others were left to a television vote among some candidates the ministry had prepared (see also: Italian euro coins).
Ciampi chose the Vitruvian man of Leonardo da Vinci, on the symbolic grounds that it represented man as a measure of all things, and in particular of the coin: in this perspective, money was at the service of man, instead of its opposite. The design also fitted very well on the bimetallic material of the coin.
According to the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana, in 1993 Ciampi was a member of the regular Masonic Lodge "Hermes" of Livorno which was affiliated to the Grand Orient of Italy and linked the socalled Rito Filosofico Italiano.
Ciampi was elected with a broad majority, and was the second president ever to be elected at the first ballot (when there is a requirement of a two-thirds majority) in a joint session of the Chamber of Deputies, the Italian Senate and representatives of the Regions.
He usually refrained from intervening directly into the political debate while serving as President. However, he often addressed general issues, without mentioning their connection to the current political debate, in order to state his opinion without being too intrusive. His interventions have frequently stressed the need for all parties to respect the constitution and observe the proprieties of political debate. He was generally held in high regard by all political forces represented in the parliament. The possibility of persuading Ciampi to stand for a second term as President by the election 2006 - the so-called Ciampi-bis - was widely discussed, despite his advancing age, but it was officially dismissed by Ciampi himself on 3 May 2006: "None of the past nine presidents of the Republic has been re-elected. I think this has become a meaningful rule. It is better not to infringe it". Ciampi, whose mandate was due to expired on the 18th, resigned on the 15th. His successor, Giorgio Napolitano took the oath on the same day.
As head of state of the host country, he officially declared the 2006 Winter Olympics open, on 10 February 2006.
As President, Ciampi was not considered to be close to the positions of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, in a sort of alternance after the devout Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. He often praised patriotism, not always a common feeling in Italy because of its abuse by the fascist regime.
As President of the Italian Republic between 18 May 1999 and 15 May 2006, Ciampi held the roles of:
La mia ultima tessera [...] è stata quella del Partito d'azione, e altre non ne ho mai più volute.