Christian Democratic Parties

Oscar Luigi Scalfaro: Former president of Italy, renowned for his

Oscar Luigi Scalfaro was a Catholic politician whose anachronistic virtues, in particular his complete honesty and his commitment to the constitution, came to Italy's rescue during the gravest political crisis of the post-war era, the corruption scandal which erupted in 1993.

Merkel: this is worst crisis since 1945

Chancellor Angela Merkel told political supporters yesterday that the eurozone debt crisis presents Europe with its toughest challenge since the Second World War, and insisted that closer political union and tough fiscal sanctions offered the best hope of weathering the storm.

Franceso Cossiga: Pragmatic and controversial politician who served as

It is no coincidence that Francesco Cossiga was both "a sincere Anglophile," in the words of one British ambassador, and a man obsessed with espionage. As minister of the interior during the late 1970s, when the threat of ultra-left terrorism to the Italian state culminated in the kidnapping and murder of ex-prime minister Aldo Moro, it was a necessary fixation, but for Cossiga it was also a love affair. "Some people like flowers," he once said. "I like spies."

Europe breathes sigh of relief at Polish poll result

Bronislaw Komorowski's election as President has offered Poland's pro-business ruling party an opportunity – but also a challenge – as it prepares to govern without the obstacle of a hostile head of state.