Donat-Cattin, Carlo
(26 June 1919, Finale Ligure - 17 March 1991, Montecarlo)

Educated in the Catholic institutes of Torino, he dedicated his studies to philosophy and political-economic subjects, showing a passion for journalism from a very young age. Called to armed service in 1940, he fought in the Piemonte Resistance movement in the Canavese Valley.
After the war he returned to journalism, writing above all, for the Torino daily newspaper Il Popolo Nuovo. Between 1948 and 1956 he undertook a number of trade union positions, secretary of the LCGIL and of the CISL. He intensified his political activities for the Democrazia Cristiana during this period, holding the posts of  city councillor, provincial councillor, and of Member of Parliament. He became a Member of Parliament in 1958 and Senator in 1979, he was Vice Secretary of the DC from 1978 to 1980. In the party he represented the social left, linked to the historical social and trade union element of the Catholic movement, expressed by the group ‘Forze Nuove’, of which Donat-Cattin was the undisputed leader. Very much aware of the link between politics and culture, he founded various journals, in particular Settegiorni (Seven Days) [1967-1974], Terzafase (Thirdphase) [1983-1993] and, on regional planning, Lettere Piemontesi (Piemontese Letters) [1982-1993].
His experience in government was particularly intense. As Undersecretary for state participations between 1963 and 1968, he came to the attention of the country as Minister for Labour [1969 –
1972], above all in the turbulent trade union season of 1969, which culminated in the approval of the Workers Statute. He was later Minister for Public Works in Southern Italy [July 1973 – March 1974], Minister for Industry [November 1974 – November 1978], Minister for Health [August 1986 – May 1989], and again Minister for Labour [from July 1989]

His political experience was characterised by certain schools of thought and action, constantly recalled: the effort to place social questions at the centre of all political action, conciliation of solidarity and freedom, faithfulness to the democratic system and the values of the State.

 

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