According to reports, the former Italian president, prime minister and central bank governor Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, has died at age 95 on Friday, September 16, 2016, after being sick for some time.
Ciampi was one of the presidents who helped the country through the dark days of corruption scandals in the 1990s and persuaded sceptical EU allies that the economy was fit to join the euro.
Confirming the news, former prime minister, Enrico Letta wrote on Twitter.”One of our fathers has left us. If Italy is (still) a great country then we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Ciampi,”
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, also wrote: “Today, we have lost a great Italian and a great European.”
Pope Francis while giving his tribute praised Ciampi’s “gentlemanly discretion and a great sense of duty”.
“Politically speaking, Ciampi is one of the traitors of Italy,” Matteo Salvini told Sky Italia TV.
“He carries on his conscience the disaster that has befallen 50 million Italians,” said Salvini, who regularly rails against the euro, arguing that a loss of monetary independence has brought years of economic misery to Italy.
Ciampi spent most of his working life at the Bank of Italy, which he joined in 1946 after the Second World War when he fought with the Italian partisans against Mussolini. During his 14 years as its head, the Bank was freed from political control, winning leeway to set interest rates and exchange rate policy.
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He often said he expected to retire when he left the central bank but in 1993, with Italy mired in the corruption scandals of “”Tangentopoli” (Bribesville), Ciampi was persuaded to become prime minister to stave off crisis.