Paolo Emilio Taviani

Paolo Emilio Taviani

Infobox Prime Minister
name = Paolo Emilio Taviani

imagesize = 180px
order = Italian Minister of Defense
primeminister = Giuseppe Pella
Amintore Fanfani
Mario Scelba
Antonio Segni
Adone Zoli
term_start = August 17, 1953
term_end = July 1, 1958
predecessor = Giuseppe Codacci Pisanelli
successor = Antonio Segni
order2 = Italian Minister of the Interior
primeminister2 = Amintore Fanfani
term_start2 = February 21, 1962
term_end2 = June 21, 1963
predecessor2 = Mario Scelba
successor2 = Mariano Rumor
primeminister3 = Aldo Moro
term_start3 = December 4, 1963
term_end3 = June 24, 1968
predecessor3 = Mariano Rumor
successor3 = Franco Restivo
primeminister4 = Mariano Rumor
term_start4 = July 7, 1973
term_end4 = November 23, 1974
predecessor4 = Mariano Rumor
successor4 = Luigi Gui
birth_date = birth date and age|1912|11|6
birth_place =
death_date = June 18, 2001
nationality = flagicon|Italy Italian
spouse =
children =
alma_mater =
religion = Roman Catholic
residence =
profession = Politician
party = Christian Democracy

Paolo Emilio Taviani (November 6, 1912 - June 18, 2001) was an Italian politician. One of the founders of the Christian Democracy (DC), he was Minister of Defense from 1953 to 1958, and then Minister of the Interior from 1961 to 1968 and from 1972 to 1974. As Minister of Defense, he organized the creation of the Italian NATO stay-behind network, dubbed Gladio [,,510075,00.html Paolo Emilio Taviani] , obituary by Philip Willan, in "The Guardian", June 21, 2001 ] . Named Senator for life by president Francesco Cossiga (DC) in 1991, he died of a stroke ten years later, aged 88.


Taviani was born in Genoa, Liguria.

A captain in the artillery during World War II, he went into exile and became a partisan leader in 1943. Joining the National Liberation Committee for Liguria, he took part in the Genoa revolt against the Nazis. Taviani was then decorated for his services to the Resistance by the US and the USSR. He then became Secretary of the DC from June 1949 to April 1950.

A staunch supporter of the Atlantic Alliance, Taviani has also been accused of collusion with neofascists while he was Interior Minister. However, he was also the one who outlawed "Ordine Nuovo" and "Avanguardia Nazionale" far-right groups, involved in Italy's strategy of tension in the 1970s. He personally thought that this measure blocked him from helding again any ministerial office .

Interrogated by Italian justice about the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan (16 dead) organized by neofascists, he told investigators that the SID military intelligence service was on the point of sending a senior officer from Rome to Milan to impede the bombing. However, the SID finally decided to sent a different officer, from Padua, in order to put the blame of the bombing on left-wing anarchists .

Taviani also declared in an August 2000 interview to "Il Secolo XIX" newspaper: "It seems to me certain, however, that agents of the CIA were among those who supplied the materials and who muddied the waters of the investigation." Finally, he confided to senator Giovanni Pellegrino, chairman of the parliamentary terrorism commission: "I don't deny that as minister of the interoir I sometimes had to violate the law. But, believe me, I always remain faithful to the constitution."

He also admitted in a magazine interview in November 2000 that he had taken part to the decision, alleging "reasons of state" ("ragione di stato"), not to press charges against the German soldiers responsible for the massacre of 6,000 Italian soldiers on the Greek island of Cephalonia in 1943 .


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