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After studying Economics in his home city of Florence, Dini takes up a post at the International Monetary Fund in 1959, where he works his way up until he serves as Executive Director for Italy, Greece, Portugal and Malta between 1976 and 1979. Then, in October of 1979, he moves to the Banca d'Italia, where he serves as Director-General, until May, 1994. When the Governor of the Bank of Italy, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, with whom there is no love lost, is called upon to serve as Prime Minister, in April, 1993, Dini is widely tipped to succeed him, but is passed over (some say on Ciampi's instigation) in favour of Antonio Fazio.
Dini scores a comeback, though, when Silvio Berlusconi forms his first Government, in May,1994, in which Dini serves as Treasury Minister. Due to a split between Berlusconi and his coalition partner Umberto Bossi, from the Northern League, Berlusconi's government collapses in December, 1994, after a mere seven months in power. In January, 1995, Dini is appointed Prime Minister by President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro in an attempt to forestall a general election which, according to most analysts would favour Berlusconi's right-wing coalition. Though he is not noted as a left-winger, Dini, in the confidence vote, is supported by the left-wing parties (apart from the Refounded Communists) and by the Northern League, whereas his erstwhile partners in the right-wing government choose to abstain ("benevolently", as they put it). His Cabinet, in any case, is made up (supposedly, at least), of "technicians", i.e. of people known for their professionalism but not attached to any political party.
In April, 1996, a general election is called, in which Berlusconi's right-wing coalition, minus the Northern League, is pitted against Romano Prodi's left-wing Olive Tree Coalition. Relations between Dini and Berlusconi have seriously soured by now, and Dini chooses to enter the Olive Tree Coalition with his own centrist party, Rinnovamento Italiano (Italian Renewal). Dini is thus elected to the Chamber of Deputies, and serves for the entire legislature as Minister of Foreign Affairs in four successive centre-left governments, under Prodi, Massimo D'Alema (in two separate, successive Cabinets), and finally Giuliano Amato. Meanwhile his party has dissolved into the Margherita, (Daisy), a larger party formed out of several centrist parties belonging to the centre-left coalition. In May, 2001, a general election is due. It is won by Berlusconi and his allies (including, once again, the Northern League), which leads to Berlusconi forming his second government in June. Dini is elected to the Senate, and in this capacity, from February, 2002 to July, 2003, serves as a delegate to the Convention in charge of drafting the European Constitution.
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