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Italy’s Ethically Challenged Infrastructure Minister Won’t Go

Italy’s infrastructure minister, Maurizio Lupi, despite being caught up in the midst of a massive corruption scandal, is staunchly refusing to resign.

While he’s not under investigation for any wrongdoing – yet – he’s been linked to one Ercole Incalza, a big wig public servant who’s been arrested on corruption charges and who is currently languishing in prison. Mr Incalza is suspected of heading an immense web of corruption right from the halls of power in Rome for as many as 20 years.

It transpires that infrastructure minister Lupi’s son is under the employ of a certain Stefano Perotti – also under arrest – a businessman who is linked to both Minister Lupi and the arrested super bureaucrat Mr Incalza. 

As well as giving Minister Lupi’s son a job, Mr Perotti reportedly gave him a Rolex watch worth around €10,000 and Minister Lupi ended up with a bespoke suit courtesy of Mr Perotti too. The question is: Why such extravagant gifts? This is what investigators would love to know.

Something stinks and it looks as of Mr Perotti may well have employed Mr Lupi’s son in return for favorable treatment in connection with certain public works contracts. By all accounts, the fortunate Mr Perotti did indeed receive a number of lucrative construction contracts. Aside from a nice suit and a job and Rolex for his son, Minister Lupi may have received other ‘gifts’ too.

Minister Lupi’s son, on the face of it, is the ideal employee – he has a degree in engineering and graduated with full honors. Whether the minister’s son’s graduation mark was, er, engineered is anyone’s guess but its not beyond the realms of possibility, but that’s another story.

Pressure on Lupi

On account of his close links to both friendly businessman Mr Perotti and dodgy bigwig bureaucrat Mr Incalza, rumor has it that pressure is being put on Lupi senior to go by those close to Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. But the seemingly ethically challenged Mr Lupi appears determined to remain glued to his well-paid parliamentary seat. Whether he will succeed or not is anyone’s guess.

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As infrastructure minister, Mr Lupi certainly has the power to steer certain public works contracts in specific directions. Did he use such power abusively? This may come out in the investigative wash shortly and if it does, Mr Lupi will become something of an embarrassment for Italy’s government which is trying to attract more foreign direct investment.

Lupi’s Links to Communion and Liberation

Incidentally, Minister Lupi also has very strong links to a holier than thou quasi religious organization known as Comunione e Liberazione.

This shady organization, which operates all over the world, could be described as a thinly disguised cartel or massonic lodge which not only reputedly offers jobs to its faithful but also allegedly ensures they dish out lucrative contracts to businesses owned by those friendly to Comunione e Liberazione. The organization, whose members are referred to as ‘cellini’ in Italy, is not too hot on the ethics front. The only god the cellini worship is money as Pope Francis recently intimated.

Birds of an Ethically and Morally Challenged Feather

Oh, and by the way, the ethically challenged Mr Lupi was once a member of one of the iterations of ethically and morally challenged Silvio Berlusconi’s political party. Nowadays, Mr Lupi resides within the NCD – New Centre Right – party which is little more than a Berlusconi Forza Italia party spin off. Many of the members of Mr Berlusconi’s party and of those of the spin-offs, the NCD and the extreme right neo fascist FDI – Brothers of Italy party could be described as being ethically challenged, to put it mildly.

Thickening the already convoluted plot even further are reports that arrested bigwig bureaucrat Mr Incalza drew up the NCD party’s manifesto.

Minister Lupi and his ilk are, alas, most probably one of the main reasons why Italy spins around in ever decreasing circles.

To all intents and purposes, Italy is run by the ethically and morally challenged. It’s a bit of a problem, isn’t it? Well, this Italy watcher thinks so. Maybe you disagree.

As a matter of interest, ‘lupi’ translates from Italian into ‘wolves’ in English. Kind of appropriate, don’t you think?

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