Italian cabinet minister faces no-confidence motion

GIUSEPPE LAMI

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni (L), former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi (C) and President of the Democratic Party Matteo Orfini (R) in discussions at the PD (Democratic Party) assembly at 'Hotel Parco dei Principi in Rome, Italy, 19 February 2017. The PD (Democratic Party) met to discuss the future of the PD party.

While Renzi’s father and some of his closest political allies are embroiled in a corruption scandal


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The Italian Five Star Movement (M5S) opposition has tabled a no-confidence motion against the Minister for Sport and former undersecretary of Matteo Renzi’s cabinet, Luca Lotti, The Irish Times reports.

If successful, the motion could force the resignation of the government of Paolo Gentiloni. The PD administration has survived several no-confidence motions in December 2015, as well as January and April 2016.  However, this time it is different.

The scandal

The political issue at hand is the political responsibility of Matteo Renzi in a €2.7bn scandal involving his father and some of his closest political allies.

Matteo Renzi’s father, Tiziano, is accused of lobbying Italy’s agency responsible for public contracts, Consip – Concessionaria Servizi Informativi Pubblici – on behalf of Alfredo Romeo, a Neapolitan businessman.

Romeo was arrested on Wednesday on charges of corruption in a probe that also embroils the current Minister for Sport, Luca Lotti.

Lotti is accused of tipping the managing director of Consip, Alessandro Marroni that he was under surveillance. On Friday, the Italian press published leaked transcripts of Marroni’s testimony, who describes how he removed the microphones place by the police. Lotti denies any wrongdoing.

Lotti denies any wrongdoing, as indeed Tiziano Renzi. denied any wrongdoing.

 Matteo Renzi

Meanwhile, Matteo Renzi is hoping to return at the helm of the ruling PD in primaries scheduled for April 30. That is less than a year before Italy is scheduled to go to the polls in 2018.

Last week, ex-prime minister Massimo D’Alema, former party leaders Pierluigi Bersani, and Guglielmo Epifani abandoned the party. They are accusing Renzi of pushing PD to the right, insisting on austerity policy, welfare cuts, and pushing for the liberalization of Italy’s labour market.

Polls one month ago suggested that D’Alema could carry with him approximately half the party’s voters or 14% of the electorate. In principle, deputies of the splinter group are committed to supporting the current administration.

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