Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
PALERMO

Sicilian Governor Lombardo finally resigns

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Palermo, July 31 - Sicilian Governor Raffaele
Lombardo finally kept his pledge to resign from office on
Tuesday.
Lombardo, who is facing charges of colluding with the
mafia, announced in May that he intended to resign but there had
been uncertainty about when he would leave his post.
Earlier this month Premier Mario Monti sent a letter asking
Lombardo to confirm he would quit to help end Sicily's political
gridlock, stressing the urgency of the situation because the
region risked defaulting on its big debts.
Lombardo said on Tuesday that elections would be held on
October 28 and 29 to vote in a new regional government.
He said he left the post "with pride and no regrets" and
that he hoped his resignation could "open a new phase" for
Sicily.
Lombardo has repeatedly denied suggestions Sicily is in
danger of defaulting, saying it just had some liquidity
problems.
On Tuesday he said the default talk had been part of
"dishonest, criminal political-media tactic".
Last week, however, he agreed to a binding plan with
central government to undergo a major spending review.
According to the Italian Audit Court, the region had debts
of 21 billion euros in 2011, although Lombardo disputes these
figures.
The Italian media have run a series of stories reporting
alleged waste in the running of the region.
Articles have pointed out, for example, that the Sicilian
regional government employs around 20,000 people, while
Lombardy, the region around Milan's financial capital Milan,
employs a quarter of that number.
These calculations do not include Sicily's 26,000 forest
guards. Lombardy has around 460 forest guards.
Prosecutors in April presented a request to try Lombardo
and his brother Angelo, an MP for Lombardo's Movimento per
l'Autonomia (MpA) party, for allegedly swapping votes for favors
with Vincenzo Aiello, a prominent member of the powerful
Catania-based Santapaola clan.
Lombardo denies the accusations.

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