Thirteen questions a Matteo Renzi “In the interest of all citizens”. The 5 star movement has published on his official blog a list of questions for the leader of Italy alive in the light of what emerged from the proceedings of the investigation on the Open foundation. Thirteen questions that the 5 stars say they ask “to guarantee the principles of full transparency and accountability, which must distinguish the work of all politicians and which are fundamental to nourish the trust of citizens in institutions and in the political class”. Because, writes the official organ of the M5s, “on these aspects, the 5 Star Movement is not willing to move back a millimeter”. And again: politics “cannot be just a question of respecting the rules, penalties in particular. For us, politics, in a primary and essential way, is a question of respect for the dignity of people and of discipline and honor. Ultimately, it is a matter of public ethics. Without moral conscience, our country has no future ”.
Not even the time to publish them and Renzi had already replied: “Giuseppe Conte has prepared 13 questions for me: I will be happy to answer in a live TV confrontation. I await your proposed date and in the meantime I prepare the 13 questions for him, from the masks to Venezuela. I am sure it will not escape the democratic confrontation. True?”.
The list of questions – 1. “Senator Renzi, you have defined a ‘school hypothesis’ the project aimed at creating one “Anti-hail propaganda structure” and to disseminate “surveys aimed at destroying the reputation and public image” of the M5S and some journalists. But what kind of “school” and “educational offer” did you and your collaborators dedicate yourself to? “.
2. This project, already at a first reading, presents an impressive amount of illegitimate profiles (private investigators, anonymous sites, servers removed from Italian law, dissemination of false and defamatory news, etc.). How come she, at the time secretary of the Democratic Party, instead of distancing herself from this disturbing project, forwarded it, via iphone, without any comment, to another collaborator, generating – objectively – the misunderstanding that her intention was to give following this project?
3. Why did you decide to reiterate, again recently, the “esteem” towards the journalist who developed this project, despite the blatant violation of the ethical rules of journalists and the clear contrast with the protection of the fundamental rights of the exponents of the 5 Star Movement and the journalists targeted? What are the reasons why he does not want or cannot stigmatize the work of those who worked on this project?
4. The project envisaged to have this smear campaign “taken up by the traditional media” thanks to “a series of interlocutors, in newspapers and on TV, with whom to build a personal and trustworthy relationship”. Don’t you think you have to apologize to the 5 Star Movement and to the people whom the plan you received and transmitted was intended to “destroy” and “defame”?
5. How do you explain the email sent to a close collaborator who would contain an indication to know the schedules and to address the contents of the TV? It can also explain the contents of the “agreement” – which is mentioned in the papers of the investigation – between his ex-spokesman Agnoletti and Orfeo and the “agreement” for Mediaset? Can you explain the meaning of the expression “to take a particular look at Gruber, Floris, Formigli, Giletti, Minoli”? Do you think behaviors are in keeping with a former prime minister as well as party leader and respectful of freedom of information? Do you think agreements are compatible with executive positions in the public broadcasting service?
6. You have often accused other parties of using social networks for their “mud machines”, for their “beasts” and “false news spread only to discredit the adversaries”. How do you explain the papers that emerged from the investigation into the Open foundation according to which, in March 2017, the coordinator of his communication sent an email in which he explicitly spoke of 16 people who managed 128 accounts posting disparaging contents against the 5 Star Movement? Now that it turns out that these initiatives were being elaborated and discussed by your collaborators: do you intend to distance yourself from them and, if they still work with you, do you intend to distance them or are certain behaviors censurable only if attributed to others?
7. Beyond any legal prohibitions, it seems to her compatible with the constitutional principle of “discipline and honor” the conduct of a parliamentarian who collects hefty salaries from the Saudi government and appreciates the “new Arab renaissance” despite the undeniable squeezing of the fundamental rights of people, especially women and homosexuals, and the terrible accusations for the murder of the journalist Khashoggi? You were a member of the Defense Commission and then Foreign Affairs of the Senate in this legislature: how can a parliamentarian guarantee Italian citizens to defend their interests if they allow themselves to be financed by foreign governments?
8. You have shown, in words, that you care about civil rights battles. Does your absence at the time of the vote on the Zan bill in the Senate seem consistent with these declarations, motivated by yet another trip to Saudi Arabia?
9. The papers of the investigation testify the urgency to close the Open foundation by January 31, 2019 in order to avoid the application of the Sweeping Law (No. 3/2019), strongly desired by the 5 Star Movement. Why were you so worried to the point of preferring the hasty liquidation of Open, which led to a huge loss and to give up the Committee’s residual funds for the yes to the referendum?
10. Does he intend to oppose or will not oppose, with his Italia Viva party, the battle that the 5 Star Movement is waging in Parliament to introduce more stringent legislation on conflict of interest, with explicit prohibition for Italian parliamentarians to receive funding from foreign governments?
11. You, with your Italia Viva party, have been the fiercest opponents ofcancellation of the motorway concession to “Autostrade per l’Italia”, controlled by the Benettons through Edizione Holding. In particular, in 2018, after the collapse of the Morandi Bridge, you attacked the procedure for canceling the concession, specifying that “you did not take a euro from the Benettons”. Why, in 2019, did you instead accept a loan from Alessandro Benetton, a member of the Board of Directors of Edizione Holding? Did you not at least consider it inappropriate to receive sums from the Benettons with the procedure still open? And why did he not feel the need to inform his constituents of this transfer, since he had boasted to the contrary?
12. The same goes for the financing of Open by some business groups, which, due to the accusatory hypothesis formulated by the Florence Public Prosecutor’s Office, would be illegal and even corrupt, as they are followed by regulatory measures in favor of the lenders. The criminal proceedings will run its course and you will have the widest opportunity to assert your reasons. But don’t you think that these behaviors risk undermining citizens’ trust in institutions and in the political class? Don’t you think that public ethics is a value to be preserved, regardless of the sphere of criminal responsibility?
13. In January 2018, during the Matrix TV broadcast, he showed viewers his statement of about 15,000 euros, literally stating: “If you want to make money, don’t do politics … If you want to make money, you go to investment banks, take the millionaire contracts they offer you, you don’t get involved in being a politician. Whoever is a politician has these current accounts, he has no others. If you have others, there is something that does not add up … I do not discount anyone on transparency … I would like for transparency to all those who make politics also present all current accounts, where they have them and how they get the money “. Why are you complaining today that some of the loans resulting from your bank statement have been acquired in the papers of the ongoing investigation? Why did you not feel the need, for the principle of transparency that you have repeatedly invoked, to inform your constituents, as your current accounts were rising with all sorts of revenues?