Leandro Laezza


Leandro Laezza

Mario Draghi 2019.jpg
Federal Minister for Finance
Assumed office
11 August 2016
PresidentFrancesco Carcaterra
Preceded byPetar Pellegrini
Chairman of the National Economic Revival Council
Assumed office
1 August 2016
Preceded byOffice established
Federal Minister for Health and Social Services
In office
3 July 2009 – 25 February 2011
PresidentUrbano Onoforio
Preceded byEnrico Terraciano
Succeeded byGiorgia Franceschi
Federal Minister for Industry and Labour Affairs
In office
20 October 2001 – 2 July 2002
PresidentNicolò Grassi
Preceded byMatteo Maria della Chiesa
Succeeded byJanez Bartol
Federal Minister for Transportation and National Development
In office
2 December 1999 – 20 October 2001
PresidentNicolò Grassi
Preceded bySimone Toschi
Succeeded byAntonio Fafani
Federal Minister for Culture, Sport and Heritage
In office
30 Septermber 1998 – 2 December 1999
PresidentNicolò Grassi
Preceded byAurelio Gencarelli
Succeeded byJanez Bartol
Federal Minister for Employment and Social Assistance
In office
20 June 1994 – 30 Septermber 1998
PresidentNicolò Grassi
Preceded byGennaro della Serena
Succeeded byViktor Tavčar
Representative for Tyrrenhus-Santa Sofia
Assumed office
1 July 1984
Preceded bySeat created
Majority30,493
Personal details
Born (1947-09-03) 3 September 1947 (age 74)
Tyrrenhus, Palestrina, Etruria
Political partyEtrurian Federalist Party (1983-2015)
Tribune Movement (2015-present)
Spouse(s)Carina Laezza (m. 1968)
Children4
Alma materApollonio University San Alessandro Institute for Economics
OccupationPolitician

Leandro Giovanni Laezza (born 3 September 1947), is a Etrurian politician, author, and civil servant who has served as Federal Minister for Finance and Chairman of the National Economic Revival Council since 2016. He previous served as the Federal Minister for Health and Social Services under President Urbano Onoforio from 2009 to 2011, Federal Minister for Industry and Labour Affairs from 2001 to 2002, Transportation and National Development from 1999 to 2001, Culture, Sport and Heritage from 1998 to 1999 and Employment and Social Assistance from 1994 to 1998 under President Nicolò Grassi. He has served as the representative for the single-member constitutuency of Tyrrenhus-Santa Sofia since 1984.

Laezza was educated at Apollonio University before taking a doctorate in Political Economy at the San Alessandro Institute for Economics. Between 1969 and 1970, he worked at the Federal Ministry of Finance where he headed a series of committees and councils dedicated to streamlining internal documentation and the distribution of contracts to private third parties. In 1975, he became the Deputy Permament Under-Secretary of the Finance Ministry, the second most powerful civil servant in the ministry. During this time, he established close ties to members of the military junta that governed Etruria at the time. In 1983, he resigned from his position to pursue a career in politics, contesting the new seat of Tyrrenhus-Santa Sofia for the Etrurian Federalist Party, winning the seat in the 1984 election.

Following the Federalist Party victory in the 1994 election, Laezza was appointed Federal Minister for Employment and Social Assistance by President Nicolò Grassi. In this position he initiated a series of reforms aimed at simplifying the country's complicated labour rights code. In 1995, he led reforms that eased the firing and hiring of workers, reduced the period granted for paternity leave and made it harder for worker's to take their employers to court over health and safety violations. In 1996, he reduced monthly unemployment benefit payments to promote work and instituted a Mandatory Employment Scheme that placed long-term unemployed into job positions. Public anger over the reforms led to Laezza being appointed as Federal Minister for Culture, Sport and Heritage in 1998, a position he would hold just over a year before being moved to serve as Minister for Transportation and National Development, during which time he reformed FERSTATE, the state-owned railyway, while authorising the modernisation of the Autostrade. In 2001, he was appointed Federal Minister for Industry and Labour Affairs, where he attempted to institute reforms weakening the Etrurian trade union movement, however, the Federalist goverment under President Grassi was defeated in the 2002 election and Laezza returned to the opposition benches. Between 2002 and 2009 as an opposition representative, Laezza became renowned for his opposition and criticism of President Vinko Begović and his Social Democratic Party's spending. He would regularly accuse the centre-left government of "economic vandalism" and was defined by his fiscal conservatism and calls for a law mandating a budget surprlus.

In the 2009 election, the Federalists returned to government and Laezza was appointed Federal Minister for Health and Social Services by President Urbano Onoforio. Between 2009 and 2011, Laezza attempted to rollback the numerous SDP reforms that expanded healthcare coverage through federal subsidies. Laezza claimed this reforms were a burden on the federal budget and health should be the responsibility solely of the states. In 2010, he prohibited membership of the Federazione degli Operatori Sanitari, the official trade union for healthcare workers employed by the Federal Health Service, claiming it was an agent of left-wing interests and a threat to national health. In 2011, Onoforio resigned over a corruption and sex scandal and was succeeded by Emiliano Reali his Vice President. Bouyed by opinion polls and encouraged by the right of the party, Laezza challenged the succession, sparking a leadership election which he lost by only 1.4% of the party vote. He was sacked from the Federal Cabinet by Reali, returning to the benches.

In 2015 Laezza defected from the Federalist Party, joining the far-right neo-nationalist Tribune Movement in preparation of campaigning against EC membership in the 2016 referendum. Following the No-vote victory, Laezza contested his seat for the Tribune Movement, winning re-election with over 60% of the vote. He was appointed Federal Minister for Finance by President Francesco Carcaterra in August 2016. As Finance Minister, Laezza has become one of the most prominent Tribune ministers and allies of President Carcaterra. Since 2016, Laezza has rolled back numerous environmental and financial regulations, while expanding the role of the state in subsidising and investing in national champion corporations, in what has been described as a personal "colossal statist conversion." Numerous pro-green economic programs have also been scrapped saving the government billions, while in 2018 he authorised the largest infrastructural plan in Etrurian history, worth over ₣400 billion over 20 years. In 2020, he authorised the Famiglia+ scheme, of monthly payments for young families that increase with each child born.

Laezza has been described as "highly divisive" for his historic budget hawkism, fiscal conservatism and opposition to regulations, worker's rights and trade unionism. He came under immense criticism over his defection to the Tribune Movement and his subsequent emergence as a leading economic nationalist. Many accuse him of being power hungry and unprincipled, only seeking office at the expense of any anchoring ideology. On the otherhand, many on the Etrurian right describe him as the "best president Etruria never had" and a talented leader and minister.

Early life and career

Representative

Grassi government

Federal Minister for Employment and Social Assistance

Federal Minister for Federal Minister for Culture, Sport and Heritage

Federal Minister for Transportation and National Development

Backbenches

Onoforio government

Federal Minister for Health and Social Services

2011 Leadership election

Defection to the Tribune Movement

2016 EC Referendum

Carcaterra government

Federal Minister for Finance

Deregulations and reforms

Famiglia+

Infrastructure

Personal life

Controversies

Defection

Tribune Movement