Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Pressure mounts on Berlusconi party governor in Lazio

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, September 24 - Pressure was mounting on
Monday for Lazio Governor Renata Polverini of former premier
Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party to quit
because of a big corruption scandal in the region.
The scandal erupted earlier this month when the PdL's
then regional chief, Franco Fiorito, was placed under
investigation for suspected embezzlement of party funds.
Investigators are looking at around 800,000 euros of
financial transactions linked to Fiorito.
On Sunday councillors for the main parties in opposition in
the regional assembly, the centre-left Democratic Party, the
leftist SEL and the anti-graft IdV, quit in protest at the
scandal.
If the councillors of the centrist UDC party, which
supports Polverini's administration, also step down the
government of the region around Rome will collapse.
Polverini met PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano, who last week
said the governor was a "victim", in the House on Monday for
talks on the crisis caused by the case.
The scandal is seen by many as a threat to the PdL's
chances of maintaining its position as the biggest party in
parliament in next year's general elections.
The PdL are currently trial far behind the PD in second
place in the polls.
Berlusconi has not decided whether he will run for a fourth
term as Italian premier next year at the head of the PdL ticket.
Polverini last week hinted she would step down and said
that she had been "betrayed by a system that has existed for
years".
But she subsequently said she had "suspended" her
resignation and announced cuts in spending by local politicians
to raise up to 20 million euros to divert to health and social
services.
On Monday a senior Catholic clergyman commented on this
scandal and a series of other recent ones that have hit various
parts of Italy's political spectrum.
"Rome is a city where the social fabric is irritated by the
scandals, by the privileges (of the political class) and the
repeated unscrupulous crimes in which there are some people who
are well off and many who are badly off," said Cardinal Agostino
Vallini, the Vicar General of Rome.

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