Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi is an Italian politician
Politics of Italy
The politics of Italy is conducted through a parliamentary, democratic republic with a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised collectively by the Council of Ministers, which is led by the President of the Council of Ministers, referred to as "Presidente del Consiglio" in Italian...

 and statesman. He served as the Prime Minister of Italy
Prime minister of Italy
The Prime Minister of Italy is the head of government of the Italian Republic...

, from 17 May 1996 to 21 October 1998 and from 17 May 2006 to 8 May 2008. He was also the tenth President of the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 from 1999 to 2004.

Prodi ran in 1996 as lead candidate of The Olive Tree coalition, winning the general election
Italian general election, 1996
An early national general election was held in Italy on 21 April, 1996 to elect members of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic...

 and serving as Prime Minister of Italy
Prime minister of Italy
The Prime Minister of Italy is the head of government of the Italian Republic...

 until 1998. Following the victory of his coalition The Union
The Union (political coalition)
The Union was an centre-left coalition of political parties in Italy. It was led by Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy from April 2006 to April 2008, and former President of the European Commission.-Parties:...

 over the House of Freedoms
House of Freedoms
The House of Freedoms , was a major Italian centre-right political and electoral alliance led by Silvio Berlusconi. It was initially composed of several political parties:*Forza Italia *National Alliance...

 led by Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

 in the April 2006 Italian elections
Italian general election, 2006
In the Italian general election, 2006 for the renewal of the two Chambers of the Parliament of Italy held on April 9 and April 10, 2006 the incumbent prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the center-right House of Freedoms, was narrowly defeated by Romano Prodi, leader of the center-left The...

 Prodi was in power again.

If you want to improve a country, you first need to know it, to listen to it.

We don't fill our mouth talking about the "people". We have seriousness and understanding to be people amongst the people.

To make the right thing, you need also to be able to be unpopular.

[The right-wing politicians] are so afraid of the "reds" that it's an effort for them even to look at a Ferrari.

It's better a crisis than a bearish agreement.