Fifty years after the death of its founder, Eni remembers Enrico Mattei in a memorial service at Montecitorio

The choice of the Chamber of Deputies as the institutional seat for the ceremony is closely connected with various events in Mattei’s life.

Rome, 18-10-2012 — / — A ceremony was held today in Montecitorio attended by the President of the Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, Eni’s President Giuseppe Recchi and Eni’s CEO Paolo Scaroni, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Enrico Mattei, founder of Eni. Following speeches by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Gianfranco Fini and the President of the Foundation of the Chamber of Deputies, Fausto Bertinotti, Neri Marcorè recalled two key moments in the life of Mattei: his speech to the Chamber of Deputies in 1949, and the speech in Gagliano; the last he made the day before the tragic event on October 27, 1962. Sergio Toffetti’s film “The Voice of Enrico Mattei‘ was shown during the commemorative service, and Francesco Rosi, director of “The Mattei Affair‘ who also won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, was also present.

The choice of the Chamber of Deputies as the institutional seat for the ceremony is closely connected with various events in Mattei’s life. A partisan leader in the Italian resistance movement and a member of the National Liberation Committee for Northern Italy, Enrico Mattei was elected to represent the Christian Democrats in the first government formed by De Gasperi, only to then resign due to conflicts of interest when he was appointed President of Eni in 1953. In 1945, when the country began the road to recovery after the war, with the farsightedness that characterized all of his actions, Mattei was eager to create a company that would not depend on the major global economic and energy powers. Power plants in the north were shut down and in ruins, streets and houses were in urgent need of reconstruction and the entire national economy had collapsed. It was thanks to Mattei that Italian industry had the fuel to kick-start the industrial machine with methane, a resource that no other European country was using at that time. Through his efforts, the Po valley was tapped and developed into the vast energy resource that enabled the country to get back on its feet after the devastating effects of five years of war. His work also secured a leading role for Italy in the geopolitical arena as he forged numerous relationships with producing countries with conditions that were very different to those that had been standard up to then. This caused him to cross paths with the key players in the energy market.

The core values he established in his nine years as the head of the “six legged dog‘ are reflected in Eni’s corporate culture today: sustainability, respect, cooperation, and dialogue. “The oil is theirs‘ as Mattei would say; he believed that the energy resources belonged to the oil-producing countries first, and the most profitable arrangements would arise out of the shared interests of all the actors involved. Although his premature death meant he never achieved the results he longed for, Mattei created the foundations on which Eni would build its reputation in later years of a “different‘ company. Today it is the sixth largest oil company in the world with 79,000 employees in 85 countries. Mattei’s real legacy however, is the message; the vision and ability to approach problems and overcome them in an innovative way and the willingness to make bold decisions to shape the future. This message is part of Eni’s philosophy today, and still holds true if we want to inject new vigor into what we develop tomorrow.


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