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Romano Prodi
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Romano Prodi

Romano Prodi (Scandiano, Reggio Emilia August 9, 1939) is an Italian politician and President of the European Commission. He earned a degree in law from the Catholic University of Milan and later studied at the London School of Economics. This began a career in Italy's academia as a professor and researcher in Economics, which included brief visiting appointments at Stanford and Harvard universities in the United States.

During the mid-1970s, he began to enter Italian politics, and was appointed Minister of Industry in 1978; he held posts on various commissions through the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1995 he became Chairman of the centre-left Ulivo coalition, and in 1996 Prime Minister, a position he held until 1998.

He is currently the President of the European Commission, a post he has held since September 1999, but has announced that he will step down from this position November 1, 2004. His designated successor is former Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso

Prodi, being one of Silvio Berlusconi's political arch rivals, will return to the Italian political scene in November, with the aim of bringing the center-left Ulivo coalition back to power in the 2006 general elections in Italy.

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Preceded by:
Jacques Santer
President of the European Commission
1999 - 2004
Succeeded by:
(to be succeded by José Manuel Durão Barroso)