Two Forza Italia candidates for the European Parliament were arrested on 7 May by Milan’s anti-Mafia prosecutors after the two – Fabio Altitonante, a regional councillor for Lombardy and Forza Italia’s regional coordinator Pietro Tatarella  were accused of receiving €5,000 a month from Daniele D’ Alfonso, a businessman in the waste management and environmental clean-up sector, to secure waste management contracts, as well as other contracts from neighbouring regions.

Prosecutors have not charged Lombardy’s regional Governor, Attilio Fontana, who was allegedly offered and denied participation in the network. Prosecutors, however, also claim that they have uncovered illegal party financing that was channelled to the nationalist Brothers of Italy party.

The arrests of the centre-right politicians of the party come amid a national political crisis involving the two governing coalition partners, both of which had largely campaigned on an anti-corruption and anti-status quo ticket.

Deputy Premier and 5-Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio called on Deputy Premier and Lega leader Matteo Salvini to press his party’s Transport Undersecretary Armando Siri to resign.

Siri is embroiled in a corruption investigation as he is accused of receiving a bribe from Cosa Nostra’s fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro to authorise the development of a Sicilian windfarm.