Clemente Mastella

Mario Clemente Mastella ( born February 5, 1947 in Ceppaloni, province of Benevento ) is an Italian politician and Popular - Unione Democratici per l'Europa ( UDEUR ). He was on 10 May 1994 to 17 January 1995 Labour Minister in the first government of Silvio Berlusconi and 17 May 2006 to 17 January 2008 the Minister of Justice in the second Prodi government. He belongs to the Senate, the second chamber of the Italian Parliament, and since 2003 has been mayor of his home town Ceppaloni.

Political career

Mastella first worked as a journalist for RAI and in 1976 was the first time for the Christian Democrats (DC ) were elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

In 1994 he was on the resolution of the DC of the founders of the successor party to Centro Cristiano Democratico (CCD), whose leadership he shared with Pier Ferdinando Casini. As part of the center-right Alliance Polo delle Libertà to the CCD Berlusconi resigned after the election victory of 1994 in the government and Mastella was Minister of Labour.

After a call to former President Francesco Cossiga to form a strong political center - as an alternative to the two rival camps - founded Mastella in February 1998, Cristiano Democratici per la Repubblica (CDR ) from which other alters in May 1999, the Unione Democratici by l' Europe ( UDEUR, later popolari - UDEUR ) emerged. Despite their centrist orientation, the Christian Democratic faction supported under Mastella leadership, the center-left government of Massimo D' Alema and later joined the coalition L' Unione by Romano Prodi. From 1999 to 2004 Mastella sat as a Member of the European People's Party ( EPP) in the European Parliament.

In October 2005, Mastella occurred in the primaries ( primarie ) of the Unione as a candidate for the office of the Italian prime minister, was defeated with 4.6 % of the vote but clearly his opponents Romano Prodi and Bertinotti. In April 2006, Mastella was elected to the Italian Senate, and resigned as justice minister in Prodi's new coalition government. In the latter role, he was primarily responsible for the adoption of a highly controversial amnesty law, by about 15,000 inmates - mostly petty criminals, but also because many Mafia crimes convicts - were released from prison.

In the European elections in 2009, he was elected on the list of the Popolo della Libertà as a member of the European Parliament.

Mafia entanglements, corruption scandal, and resignation

Along with Salvatore Cuffaro, President of the Sicilian Regional Government, Mastella was involved in a scandal when her close relationship with Francesco Campanella, a renegade Mafia Member, were known. Campanella was the Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano helped to secretly escape to France.

Since October 2007, the Catanzaro office is investigating Mastella as well as against other politicians for abuse of office, corruption and embezzlement in the so called Why Not - Affair (after the name of an employment agency, which is to belong to a criminal organization ). Already in September 2007 Mastella had requested the transfer of the responsible investigator Luigi De Magistris.

After January 16, 2008, the obvious involvement of other southern Italian local politicians, especially by members of the UDEUR and also by Mastella wife Sandra Lonardo, was known in the scandal, Mastella filed on the same day his resignation and retired on January 17 with his Party withdraw from the Prodi government. Although the government initially UDEUR secured their future parliamentary support to, but when they could not enforce a protective custody arrests Mastella before the investigation, she withdrew her final confidence and sparked by a government crisis.