Former Italian PM Andreotti dies aged 94
(AFP) Italy's Giulio Andreotti, a shadowy seven-time former prime minister who presided over the post-war political scene for decades, died Monday aged 94, Italian media reported.
Andreotti, a key figure in the once-dominant Christian Democratic party, suffered from ill health in recent years and was hospitalised in August 2012 with heart trouble.
He died at his home in central Rome, his relatives were quoted as saying.
Andreotti lived in a luxurious apartment building facing the Vatican, with which he always enjoyed strong ties as a staunchly Catholic politician.
"He was the engineer of this country's reconstruction" after World War II, Paolo Cirino Pomicino, a former minister under Andreotti, said on news channel Sky TG 24.
"He had an international prestige that Italian politicians rarely enjoy," he said.
But Riccardo Barenghi, a former editor of leftist daily Il Manifesto, said: "He takes many secrets to the grave with him."
"For better or for worse, and above all for worse, he was a protagonist of our political life," he said.