In Italian with simultaneous translation in English
Mayor of Bologna since May 16, 2011, Virginio Merola graduated in Philosophy from the University of Bologna. Merola first worked for Società Autostrade and later served as a representative and manager within the transportation sector of the Italian trade union CGIL. In 1989, he became the Regional Secretary of Lega delle Autonomie locali, an association of Italian municipalities, provinces and regions that provides support to local governments. Merola's official political career began in 1995 when he was elected President of the Quartiere Savena in Bologna, serving two terms. In 2004, Merola was an elected member of the Consiglio Comunale and covered the role of Assessore all'Urbanistica, alla Pianificazione Territoriale e alla Casa. Merola actively participated in the foundation of the Partito Democratico in 2008, and from July 2009 to February 2011 he was the President of the Consiglio Provinciale.