Flavio Delbono

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Flavio Delbono
Flavio Delbono.jpg
Mayor of Bologna
In office
25 June 2009 – 28 January 2010
Preceded bySergio Cofferati
Succeeded byVirginio Merola
Vice-President of Emilia-Romagna
In office
Preceded byVera Zamagni
Succeeded byMaria Giuseppina Muzzarelli
Personal details
Born (1959-09-17) 17 September 1959 (age 60)
Sabbioneta, Lombardy, Italy
Political partyDemocratic Party

Flavio Delbono (born 17 September 1959) is an Italian politician and economist. He served as the mayor of Bologna from 25 June 2009 until 28 January 2010, when he was forced to resign as he was being investigated for crimes such as embezzlement, fraud and aggravated abuse of office following allegations made by his former lover.


Delbono was born in Sabbioneta, a small town in the Province of Mantua in Lombardy.[1] His father was a municipal policeman and his mother was a seamstress.[1] After graduating from the Liceo scientifico, Delbono studied economics at the University of Parma, graduating in 1982.[1] He received a dottorato di ricerca in economics from the University of Siena in 1986,[2] and a D.Phil. from Linacre College, Oxford in 1988.[2][3] While at Oxford, Delbono studied under the future Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.[4]

Delbono joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Center as an adjunct professor of international economics in 1987.[1] In 1992, at the age of 33, Delbono was appointed as professor of Political Economy at the University of Bologna.[2] His predecessors in this position include Romano Prodi and Stefano Zamagni.[1][5]

Political and administrative career[edit]

From 1995 to 1999, Delbono served as an assessor for the city of Bologna with specific responsibility for the budget.[2] In 2000, the newly elected President of the Emilia-Romagna region, Vasco Errani, named Delbono as the regional assessor for finance and organisation.[1][2] In 2003 he was also named as vice-president of Emilia-Romagna.[1][2] Following Errani's re-election in May 2005, Delbono was reconfirmed as vice-president and given additional responsibility for the region's relationship with Europe.[1][2]

On 19 June 2008, Delbono was unanimously elected in Brussels as the President of the Lisbon Regions Network—a 15-member pan-European group concerned with implementing the Lisbon Strategy.[6][7]

Primary campaign[edit]

On 13 October 2008, Delbono announced his intention to stand in the Democratic Party primary election for mayor of Bologna.[8] Delbono's candidacy was backed by several prominent figures in Bolognese politics, including: Sergio Cofferati,[8] Romano Prodi,[9] Pier Luigi Bersani,[10] Renato Zangheri[10] and Salvatore Caronna.[11]

The primary elections took place on 13 and 14 December 2008.[12] Delbono received 49.73% of the 24,920 votes cast in the primary; Maurizio Cevenini received 23.29%, Virginio Merola received 21.44% and Andrea Forlani received 5.1%.[13]

Campaign for mayor of Bologna[edit]

On 9 January 2009, Delbono announced that he would be resigning as vice-president of Emilia-Romagna and regional assessor in order to focus on his election campaign.[14] Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli was announced as his successor as vice-president on 3 February.[15] The mayoral election was held on 21 and 22 June; Delbono's opponents included Alfredo Cazzola, the candidate of The People of Freedom and Lega Nord, and the UDC's Giorgio Guazzaloca, a former mayor of Bologna.[16] Delbono received 49.4% of the vote in the first round, forcing a second round against Cazzola, who had received 29.1%.[16] Delbono received 60.67% of the votes in the second round.[16] Delbono was officially proclaimed as mayor of the city of Bologna on 25 June 2009.[17]

Scandal and resignation[edit]

Delbono was forced to announce his resignation as mayor on 25 January 2010 following the revelation that he was being investigated for crimes such as embezzlement, fraud and aggravated abuse of office.[18] The investigation followed Delbono's former assistant's claim that he had spent public money on her— the pair had been having an affair.[18] Investigators subsequently questioned Delbono about the purchase of a property near St. Julian's, Malta.[19] Delbono denied all the allegations made against him and said that resigning as mayor was the right thing to do.[18][19] He has announced that he will return to lecturing and is working to clear his name.[19] His resignation was confirmed on 28 January following the approval of an emergency budget, the election to appoint Delbono's successor must take place by 28 March 2010.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Flavio Delbono - Biography". comune.bologna.it. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Flavio Delbono - LinkedIn" (in Italian). LinkedIn. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Program of the 1988 European Meeting of the Econometric Society". 57. Econometrica: 245–272. JSTOR 1912595. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (subscription required)
  4. ^ "Flavio Delbono, l'uomo accusato "di guardare troppo i conti"" (in Italian). Tiscali. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Bologna Center professor elected mayor". JHU Gazette. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Lisbon Regions Network General Assembly". Lisbon Regions Network. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  7. ^ "Flavio Delbono eletto a Bruxelles presidente della Rete delle Regioni di Lisbona" (in Italian). Diario del Web. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Pd: Flavio Delbono candidato sindaco Avrà il sostegno di Sergio Cofferati" (in Italian). È TV. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Bologna vive solo con respiro internazionale" (in Italian). romanoprodi.it. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  10. ^ a b Emilio Lonardo (4 November 2008). "Anche Bersani e Zangheri appoggiano Delbono" (in Italian). Openpolis. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  11. ^ Luciano Nigro (21 October 2008). "Veltroni convoca i vertici Pd: primarie e Delbono numero uno" (in Italian). la Repubblica. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Primarie 13-14 dicembre 2008: inizia il percorso verso il 2009" (in Italian). Partito Democratico. 17 December 2008. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  13. ^ "Primarie Pd a Bologna, Delbono trionfa con il 49%" (in Italian). l'Unità. 15 December 2008. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  14. ^ Flavio Delbono (9 January 2009). "Bologna prima di tutto" (in Italian). WordPress.com. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  15. ^ "Comunicati Stampa" (in Italian). presidenterrani.it. 3 February 2009. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  16. ^ a b c "Elezioni amministrative del 21 - 22 giugno 2009 II Turno" (in Italian). Ministero dell'Interno. 22 June 2009. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  17. ^ "Insediamento a Palazzo D'Accursio Delbono è ufficialmente sindaco" (in Italian). il Resto del Carlino. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  18. ^ a b c "The centre-left cannot hold: Italy's troubled left". The Economist. 394 (8667): 47. 30 January 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  19. ^ a b c Karl Stagno-Navarra (31 January 2010). "Bologna mayor Delbono under investigation on Malta property". Malta Today. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  20. ^ Michele Smargiassi (29 January 2010). "Delbono, dimissioni dopo il bilancio Bologna al voto il 28 marzo" (in Italian). la Repubblica. Retrieved 2 February 2010.