Emanuele Macaluso, historical face of the PCI and of Italian politics, died

Emanuele Macaluso, historical face of the PCI and of Italian politics, died

At 96, after a life spent in the Italian Communist Party, the best man disappeared in Rome who said: "Togliatti explained to me that a politician who does not write is a politician halved"

This night, at the Gemelli hospital in Rome, Emanuele Macaluso, politician, trade unionist and historical leader of the Italian Communist Party, of which he clandestinely became a member in 1941, in the midst of the fascist era, died of heart problems. He was born on March 24, 1924 in Caltanissetta, from a railway worker father and a housewife mother, and within the PCI he was one of the leading faces of the reformist, or better, current that wanted to bring the communist tradition in the wake of social democracy (his other well-known party and current comrades were the former president of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano and Gerardo Chiaromonte).

In the early 1940s, he conducted intense anti-fascist and anti-mafia activity throughout the Caltanissetta area. In September 1944 he escaped a mafia attack against him and against the PCI manager Giacomo Li Causi, while they were in Villalba for a rally. After the Liberation he continued to devote himself to political commitment: he was elected municipal councilor of Caltanissetta in 1946 and, in 1947, he became regional secretary of the CGIL at the age of 23.

The trade union commitment went through clashes with the mafia and the occupation of the lands, for which Macaluso was tried several times: they were years of transformation in which Sicily abandoned its feudal structure, the years of peasant and sulfur troops, the years of the massacre of Portella della Ginestra and trade unionists killed by the mafia. In 1963, after leaving the union and being called by Palmiro Togliatti in the general direction of the PCI, he was elected to the Chamber and, later, to the Senate.

Despite having obtained only the middle school certificate, for the whole span of his life Macaluso, a man of very fine intelligence and witty polemicist, combined political commitment with the craft of writing. "Togliatti once explained to me" he said in an interview with Repubblica in 2014 "a politician who does not write is a politician halved". Director of the Unit from 1982 to 1986, he introduced satirical strips in the newspaper for the first time, with cartoons by Sergio Staino. After leaving politics, journalism became his main occupation: from 2011 to 2013 he was also editor of the newspaper Il Riformista, while his last article on 21 October 2020.

This morning, before the intervention of the President Conte, the Senate observed a minute of silence in his memory, followed by unanimous applause from the assembly. The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli and the European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni also remembered him by celebrating his memory.

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