The Italian Almanac

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Renzao Piano

Senators for Life

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano named four Senators for life, a power held by the head of State under the Constitution to appoint permanent members to the Upper House who have shown extraordinary scientific, social or artistic merit. Famed architect Renzo Piano, Nobel laureate particle physicist Carlo Rubbia, world-renowned music conductor Claudio Abbado and pharmacology professor and stem-cell research expert Elena Cattaneo are to be given lifetime Senate seats.

Napolitano notified Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso of the nominations, which required decrees signed also by Premier Enrico Letta. The president telephoned each of the candidates to inform and congratulate them personally. The appointments take the number of life Senators back up to five.

Former Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and ex-premier Mario Monti were left as the only two life Senators by the deaths over the past year of former statesman Giulio Andreotti, ex-premier Emilio Colombo and car designer Sergio Pininfarina.