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Fausto Bertinotti was born in Milan on 22 March 1940. He is married to Gabriella Fagno, with a son, Duccio, and three grandchildren: Davide, Lisa and Anita.
His life is marked by his commitment in the Trade Unions, notably in the CGIL (Italian General Confederation of Labour), and in politics.
From 1975 to 1985 he was regional secretary of the CGIL in Piedmont. In 1985 he was elected to the national secretariat of the CGIL, a position that he retained until 1994, when he became national secretary of the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (Communist Refoundation Party), an assignment that was confirmed by successive party conferences, including in March 2005.
He had previously been a member of the PSI (Italian Socialist Party) and later of the PSIUP (Italian Socialist Proletarian Unity Party). In 1971, when the PSIUP disappeared, he joined the PCI (Italian Communist Party). After the socalled Bolognina turn, when the PCI re-named itself PDS (Democratic Party of the Left), he joined the latter party. In 1993 he became a member of the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista.
In May 2004 he was elected Chairman of the Party of the European Left, a position in which he was confirmed in October 2005 in Athens, during the first Congress of the Party of the European Left.
He was elected to the Italian Parliament for the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista in 1994, 1996, and 2001. In June 1999 and in 2004 he was elected to the European Parliament.
In 2006 he was re-elected to the Italian Parliament for the constituency Piedmont 1 and consequently resigned from the European Parliament.
On 29 April 2006 he was elected President of the Chamber of Deputies.