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Altero Matteoli (Napoleon's World)

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Altero Matteoli (born 8 September 1940) is a retired Italian politician who served as the President of the National Alliance for eleven years (1995-2006) and as the sixth Prime Minister of Italy from 2003 until his retirement in December of 2006. Matteoli is regarded as responsible for expanding the National Alliance into a "big-tent" party during his tenure, first by inviting Christian Democracy and the Italian Liberal Party into forming a coalition in Parliament after the 1999 elections, and later by facilitating negotiations in 2005 and 2006 that led to the merger of the two smaller parties into the National Democratic Alliance, whose members called for new leadership elections within two months of formation. While the sitting Prime Minister was expected to win these handily, Matteoli opted to retire, having suffered a mild stroke earlier in the year, and he was succeeded by former Minister of Finance Mario Draghi as both leader of the National Democratic Alliance and Prime Minister of Italy on December 16, 2006, the final day of legislative sessions for that year. He declined an offer of Senator-for-Life in 2010 and currently lives in Cecina, his town of birth, in retirement. Matteoli is known as the "Transformer of the Right" for his efforts to temper the right's policies and make the rightist parties more inclusive and eventually one single party.

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