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Achille Occhetto (born 3 March 1936), nicknamed Akel, is an Italianmarker political figure.


Occhetto was born in Turinmarker. He served as the secretary-general of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) between 1988 and 1994 (which became the Democratic Party of the Left halfway through his term in 1991, also known as the PDS, and is now the main part of the Democrats of the Left).

He served as secretary of the youth communist movement from 1963 to 1966 and, subsequently, as regional secretary of the Italian Communist Party in Sicily, distinguishing himself for his war against any kind of mafia.

Appointed in 1986 as national coordinator of the PCI, he became then the party leader in 1988, succeeding to Alessandro Natta. During his secretarship, the party witnessed the collapse of both the Berlin wallmarker and the communist regime in the Soviet Unionmarker. He therefore declared the communist experience as over, and dissolved the PCI in order to form a new party, the PDS, characterized by a progressive left-wing stance.

This political shift (known in Italian politics as the Bolognina) was not accepted by approximately one third of the communist members, which refused to join the PDS and instead founded the Communist Refoundation Party.

In 1994, he challenged and was defeated by Silvio Berlusconi in italian general election, 1994, leading Alliance of Progressives; because of this negative result he then quit the party secretaryship.

He came actively back in politics for the 2004 European elections, being elected to the European Parliamentmarker on a joint ticket with anti-corruption campaigner Antonio Di Pietro, but he immediately resigned to be replaced by Giulietto Chiesa. After the 2006 General election he returned to the European Parliament by taking up one of the seats vacated by an elected Deputy, and sits as an Independent member of the Party of European Socialists group.

It has been recently rumoured about a possible joining of Occhetto to the Communist Refoundation Party, but he sharply denied this possibility, affirming to have supposed just the birth of a "Left-Wing Refoundation", including Democrats of the Left, Greens, SDI and the Communist Refoundation Party itself.

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