Cabinet Undersecretary "involved in Roma stadium scandal"
ROME - The corruption scandal concerning the construction of a new football stadium in the Eternal City has widened to include the governing League party and anti-establishment Five Star Movement. Magistrates have disclosed that new Cabinet Undersecreatary Giancarlo Giorgetti had a private dinner with Luca Parnasi, the businessman arrested on charges of corrupting politicians to obtain the contract for building the huge sports facility at Tor di Valle in Rome’s southern outskirts.
League leader Matteo Salvini asserts that the affair poses no threat to Italy's fledgling populist government, but mainstream newspapers have been quick to criticise Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, after he promised to fight ongoing corruption in the peninsula.
Luca Lanzalone resigned as president of Acea SpA on Thursday, following his arrest for corruption charges.
Acea, which is a huge Italian energy and water supply company, communicated the news of his resignation on Thursday, after he was arrested on Wednesday in an investigation coordinated by the Rome Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Eight other high profile figures, including vice president of the Lazio Regional Council Adriano Palozzi and former regional councillor for the Democratic Party (PD) Michele Civita, were also arrested as part of the inquiry for alleged crimes of corruption.
In an interview with La Repubblica, the head of the Lazio regional council, Roberta Lombardi, said: “We must define ourselves from others in our reaction. The leader of M5S Di Maio has asked Lanzalone to resign effective immediately.”
Former city councillor Berdini also added: “It’s worse than Mafia capital.”
Meanwhile, Virginia Raggi said: "The press review is shameful. Judges are saying that I have nothing to do with it and there is not a single newspaper that has had the courage to report this news. The council, the Roman people and the Roma football club are the injured parties."
After Wednesday’s arrests, the city’s town planning department sent a letter to the construction company Eunova, asking for clarification after the arrest of businessman Luca Parnasi.
A "commissioner” will most likely take over the reins of the company and project, sources revealed.
All the work done on the stadium will have to be revised and confirmed as legitimate, a process that will effectively freeze any progress on the project.
According to an administrative report, the project should have been concluded by the end of July. The procedure underway will significantly delay this finish date.