scrittore e politico
Walter Veltroni (born 3 July 1955) is an Italian writer, journalist and politician, who served as the first leader of the Democratic Party within the centre-left opposition. He also served as Mayor of Rome from 2001 to 2008. Veltroni joined the Federazione Giovanile Comunista Italiana (Italian Youth Communist Federation) at the age of 15, and was elected Rome city councilor in 1976 as member of the Italian Communist Party, serving until 1981. He was then elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1987. As a member of the Italian Communist Party's national secretariat in 1988, he played a leading role in the transformation into a social democratic party. Veltroni, a professional journalist, was editor-in-chief of L'Unità, the newspaper of the Democratic Party of the Left from 1992 to 1996. He then successfully ran as vice-premier candidate, together with Romano Prodi, for the 1996 national election in Italy. In 1996 he joined the Bilderberg Group meeting, and was from 1996 to 1998 Minister for Cultural Assets and Activities. In 1998 he resigned, subsequent to his election as National Secretary of the Democrats of the Left (DS). America Award of the Italy-USA Foundation in 2009. In 2001 Veltroni resigned as leader of the party after being elected Mayor of Rome. In May 2006 Veltroni was confirmed Mayor of Rome. The percentage of votes that supported Veltroni's second term in office was a record in local elections in Rome. Shortly before this confirmation, Veltroni had declared that he was going to leave politics at the end of his second term as Mayor. In 2003 he received a honoris causa degree in Public Services by the John Cabot University of Rome. In 2006 Veltroni received the title of Cavaliere di Gran Croce (Knight of the Great Cross) from President of the Italian Republic. In June 2007, DS leader Piero Fassino publicly asked Veltroni to run for the party leadership, offering support from all of his party. Veltroni officially presented his candidacy for the leadership of the Democratic Party at a rally in Turin on 27 June 2007. At this occasion he introduced the four key issues his programme would address: environment, generational pact, education, and public security. Veltroni was elected as the first leader of the newly-founded Democratic Party on 14 October 2007. Following the defeat of Prodi's government in a January 2008 Senate vote, Veltroni led the Democratic Party into the April 2008 general election. Veltroni resigned as Mayor of Rome on 13 February 2008 to concentrate on the campaign. On 17 February 2009, Veltroni announced his resignation from his leadership post.