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M5S presents no-confidence motion against De Girolamo

Agriculture minister under fire over Benevento appointments

15 January, 14:07
M5S presents no-confidence motion against De Girolamo (ANSA) - Rome, January 15 - The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) on Wednesday presented a no-confidence motion against Italian Agriculture Minister Nunzia De Girolamo. ''A politician who behaves this way is not worthy of representing citizens,'' said M5S MP Silvia Giordano, who co-signed the motion with M5S Lower House Whip Federico D'Inca.

D'Inca said he has asked Chamber Speaker Laura Boldrini to put the motion on the parliament calendar to be heard immediately.

Pressure for De Girolamo to resign has followed transcripts of recordings of her conversations regarding appointments in the southern province of Benevento.

The wiretaps stemmed from an investigation into health sector appointments and contracts in which the 38-year-old minister is not being probed.

Nevertheless, De Girolamo has been accused of improper interference by some, and the furore is increasing the turmoil Premier Enrico Letta's left-right coalition government is enduring.

Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, the leader of De Girolamo's New Centre Right (NCD) party, defended his political colleague, saying the 38-year-old minister ''is not running away''.

''She is ready to report to parliament. She'll do it with great strength and I am convinced that she will demonstrate that there was nothing improper in her behaviour,'' Alfano on Wednesday told Radio Anch'io. Earlier this week Alfano said the wiretaps had been published illegally.

The Italian data protection authority said Tuesday it was ''closely following developments'' in the De Girolamo case, and accused ''transcript journalism'' of ''seriously violating people's private lives, often irreparably''.

While stressing that her job was in Premier Enrico ''Letta's hands'', De Girolamo defended her position and said she had been the victim of ''an unprecedented media lynching''.

But Letta's centre-left Democratic Party (PD), the biggest group in parliament, has urged her to give a full explanation.