Sicilian splurge of millions at Cannes rocks government alliance

Renato Schifani

 PALERMO, Sicily – The Governor of Sicily, Renato Schifani, has demanded answers over the outrageous sum of money spent by the regional government to contribute to the Cannes festival. 

 About 4 million euros have been spent without notice to organize the ‘Sicily, Women and Cinema’ photography exhibition to be presented at the French Cinema Festival in Cannes, Fatto Quotidiano reported. The money was sent to Absolute Blue S.A., a Luxembourg-based company in charge of managing the project. The payment towards the company was authorized by Francesco Scarpinato, Tourism Councilor, and group leader of the Fratelli d’Italia political party in Palermo. 

 Schifani, leader of Forza italia on the island, claims he was kept in the dark about the operations performed and asks for answers as well as a dossier of the payments of the project, as he believes the money could have been used in better ways that could have gained the region a profit from tourism.  

 Scarpinato defends himself by saying the ‘offices’ have simply proceeded to send the money after the successful negotiation of the project with the firm in Luxembourg. He laos states that the event was already planned by the previous regional government for 2023, thus clearing himself from the claims made on his account in these days.

 The affair has created tension between the two right wing parties that are members of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's coalition government together with the League.