Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Letta eyes growth-boosting Expo clean of mafia


Rome, May 6 - Italian Premier Enrico Letta on
Monday pledged that the government will do everything to stop
mafia gangs muscling in on contracts for Expo 2015 in Milan.
"No one should think they can get away with being crafty
when it comes to checks (on contracts linked to the event),"
Letta told an Expo 2015 news conference in Milan.
"The government's commitment to stopping illicit and
illegal activities will be total".
Organizers of the Expo, also known as the World's Fair,
suspended a number of contracts at the start of the year with
builders and contractors suspected of dealings with the mafia.
Letta, who was named Premier last week, also reiterated his
strong support of the Expo, which he has championed since he
served as an undersecretary in the 2006-08 Romano Prodi
government and worked on Milan's bid to host the event.
On Monday he said the Expo was an opportunity for national
growth and that a little "visionary madness" was needed to make
it and an Italian economic recovery a success.
"For the government, (Expo) is a true and real priority,"
he told journalists in a press conference.
Letta said the food-themed Expo, called "Feed the Planet:
Energy for Life", will act as "a hub" for Italian economic
"It really represents the heart of the possibility for
recovery," Letta said.
Asked about criticism calling his political programme a
"book of dreams", Letta responded, "We need dreams. If we think
of being here without having a little visionary madness...Even
the Expo, seven years ago, was visionary madness and here we are
"Dreams even serve the dry policy of numbers. The Expo is a
point of reference for the life of this government. From here we
want to send a message of cohesion. We are a team, Team Italy".
As far as Expo is concerned, the sole captain of the team
is Giuseppe Sala, who was put in complete control of Expo 2015
in Milan on Monday when Premier Enrico Letta made him the
event's 'sole commissioner'.
Letta announced the decision after a meeting in Milan with
three ministers and representatives of local institutions
involved in organising the Universal Exposition.
The move effectively ends the involvement of Roberto
Formigoni, the once Expo commissioner-general and former
Lombardy governor whose administration fell last year.
In October, Formigoni announced the dissolution of his
legislature after one of his councillors was arrested and
charged with buying votes from the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta
mafia and paying them to extort favors, including construction
tenders for the Expo in Milan.
Prosecutors claim Domenico Zambetti got 4,000 votes from
in exchange for 200,000 euros and several jobs as well as
contract promises.
Zambetti denies the charges and claims the mafia forced him
to make payments and promise favours.
The Expo, which lasts six months, is expected to attract
over 20 million visitors and to be a massive money spinner
for Italy's business capital.
Preparations for the Milan Expo are under way on a
1.1-million-square-meter site.
Italy last hosted a World's Fair in 1992 with a Christopher
Columbus theme in Genoa, the explorer's hometown.
The last fair was held the summer of 2012 in Yeosu, South

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