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De Girolamo says she 'never abused her role'

Agriculture minister under fire over appointments

17 January, 10:45
De Girolamo says she 'never abused her role' (ANSA) - Rome, January 17 - Italy's Agriculture Minister Nunzia De Girolamo defended herself in parliament Friday over allegations that she improperly interfered in appointments in a province of the south. De Girolamo said she is determined to "explain the reasons why I have never abused my role as a deputy (in the House) and I have never violated the Constitution".

The minister has come under fire following the publication of wiretaps 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 earlier this week, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) presented a no-confidence motion against her in the Lower House.

Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, the leader of De Girolamo's New Centre Right (NCD) party, has defended his political colleague, saying that minister "is not running away" from accusations.