Saragat, Giuseppe

Saragat, Giuseppe

(jo͞osĕp`pē särä`gät), 1898–1988, Italian political leader. He was president of the constituent assembly that framed (1946) Italy's republican constitution. In 1947 he broke with the Socialist party headed by Pietro Nenni and founded (1951) the anti-Communist Democratic Socialist party. After serving as deputy premier and cabinet minister in several postwar governments, he was Italy's president from 1964 to 1971.

Saragat, Giuseppe


Born Sept. 19, 1898, in Turin. Italian political and state figure.

An economist by education, Saragat joined the Unitarian Socialist Party (Partito Socialista Unitario) in 1922, and by 1925 he had become a leader in the party. After the establishment of an open Fascist dictatorship in 1926, he emigrated, first to Austria and then to France. He returned to Italy in September 1943. In 1944 he became a member of the executive committee of the Italian Socialist Party (ISP) and entered I. Bonomi’s government as a minister without portfolio. In 1945 and 1946 he was ambassador to France. In 1946 and 1947 he was chairman of the Constituent Assembly.

In 1947, together with the right wing of the ISP, Saragat left the party and founded the Socialist Party of Italian Workers (Partito Socialista dei Lavoratori Italiani), which in 1951 was renamed the Italian Social Democratic Party. He was the party’s political secretary from 1947 to 1964, except for periods when he was a member of the government. In the Social Democratic Party, especially during its early days, Saragat was a right-wing reformist and opposed unity within the Italian workers’ movement.

From 1947 to 1949 and again from 1954 to 1957, Saragat was deputy prime minister. From December 1963 to 1964 he was minister of foreign affairs. From 1964 to 1971 he was president of the Italian Republic. In 1971 he was appointed senator for life.

Throughout his political career, Saragat pursued a left-center domestic policy and stressed the antifascist character of the Italian state. In foreign affairs he followed a policy of strengthening NATO, the Common Market, and Italy’s ties with the USA. At the same time, Saragat advocated the development of Italy’s relations with the USSR and other socialist countries.

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