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Mariastella Gelmini

The Honourable
Mariastella Gelmini
Italian Minister of Education
In office
8 May 2008 – 16 November 2011
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Preceded by Giuseppe Fioroni
Succeeded by Francesco Profumo
Member of the
Italian Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
April 21, 2006
Constituency Lombardy 2
Personal details
Born (1973-07-01) July 1, 1973
Leno, Brescia, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party The People of Freedom
Spouse(s) Giorgio Patelli (since 2010)[1]
Children Emma Patelli[2]
Alma mater University of Brescia

Mariastella Gelmini, is an Italian politician and attorney (specialised in administrative law). She served as Italian Minister of Education in the Berlusconi IV Cabinet until November 16, 2011.

Political career

Mariastella Gelmini and the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano

Maria Stella Gelmini, was born in Leno, in the province of Brescia (Italy).

Member of the Forza Italia political movement of Silvio Berlusconi since its foundation in 1994, during the same year she became chairperson of the "Azzurri" club in Desenzano del Garda settling the first representation of Forza Italia in the Province of Brescia.

In 1998 she was the first elected in the administrative poll in Desenzano del Garda and became the president of the city council until 2000, in which year a motion of no confidence against her eventually passed.[3]

Gelmini passed her bar exam in 2001 in Reggio Calabria, far away from her home town and the university where she graduated, as the academic standards in that city were low and pass rate suspiciously high.[4]

In 2002 she was elected as concillor of the Province of Brescia. During her term in office she devised the "Piano Territoriale di Coordinamento Provinciale", by virtue of which the environmentally protected areas of Parco della rocca e del sasso di Manerba, Parco delle colline di Brescia and Parco del lago Moro were established.

In 2005 She was elected as member of the regional council of Lombardy resulting the most voted candidate among the Lombard constituencies. After this electoral success, she became Forza Italia's political chief in Lombardy, i.e. coordinatore regionale.

Students demonstration against Gelmini's reforms.

In 2006 Mariastella Gelmini was elected as member of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Italian Parliament.

On 18 November 2007, she was in Piazza San Babila in Milan when Silvio Berlusconi announced the birth of the Popolo della Libertà political movement and subsequently she became a member of the founding committee of the party. Since 2008 she has served in the Italian Government as Minister of Education in the Berlusconi IV Cabinet. In the same year she was re-elected in the Chamber of Deputies.

In October 2008 demonstrations took place across Italy against the school reform proposed by Gelmini. In 2009 the reform was approved.[5][6] On 8 October 2010 further demonstrations by students occurred in all the major Italian cities against Gelmini's recent reforms.[7] [8]

On 23 September 2011 she attracted widespread criticism for a statement released on the Education ministry website, with regard to the breakthrough at the Gran Sasso laboratory in Abruzzo, Italy, where neutrinos were recorded at a speed greater than the speed of light. The statement wrongly declares that the Italian Government had contributed to building a tunnel between the Gran Sasso National Laboratory and CERN in Switzerland. Such a tunnel does not exist. The two locations are approximately 750 km apart. This statement caused controversy both in and outside Italy.[9] Gelmini defended herself saying that her declaration referred to the tunnel used only to send the first flux of neutrins; Giovanni Bignami, president of "Istituto nazionale di astrofisica", defended Minister's statement.[10]


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  7. ^ retrieved 8 October 2010. On 14 December 2010, was enacted its law school budget cuts, millions of students have expressed their contempt, resulting in more than 20 million in damages to the capital, Rome. The biggest revolt that Italy has ever seen.
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External links

  • President of the Council - biography
  • Chamber of Deputies - biography
  • Mariastella Gelmini on
Political offices
Preceded by
Giuseppe Fioroni (Instruction)
Fabio Mussi (University and Research)
Italian Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Francesco Profumo
Italian Chamber of Deputies
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies

2006 - present
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