Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has joined the board of the car rental company operating in Russia. Consequently, a wave of criticism fell on the leader of the Italian coalition party. The prevailing opinion is that this is an unacceptable conflict of interest. He himself assures that he has not broken the law.
Italian newspapers have revealed that since August, former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi sits on the nine-member board of the Luxembourg-based company. It is controlled by the capital of an entrepreneur from Naples and the chairman of the Italian-Russian chamber of commerce. The value of the company, operating mainly in Moscow, is estimated at half a billion euros, and its shareholder is a Russian investment group.
The disclosure came months after amazement and indignation in Italy aroused Renzi, the current senator and founder of Italia Viva, with Saudi Arabia.
“Political degeneration”, “Is he a senator or a lobbyist?”. A wave of criticism fell on Renzie
There has been a wave of criticism against the former Italian prime minister when he joined the board of a car rental company operating in Russia. “If Renzi wants to continue to be a businessman, it would be good for him to leave politics, these are two different jobs,” said Giuseppe Provenzano, one of the center-left Democratic Party leaders. He also used strong words to say it was “political degeneration”.
“Is Matteo Renzi a senator or a lobbyist?” Asked the MP of the Five Star Movement, Paola Taverna, representatives of this coalition formation expressed the opinion that the conflicts of interest of the former head of the center-left government are already reaching “unacceptable proportions”.
According to the Movement, if Renzi wants to continue doing business, he should resign as a senator. The party called on the presidium of the Senate to introduce a code of conduct in the event of a conflict of interest.
Currently, the law does not prohibit parliamentarians from fulfilling the role that Renzi assumed. The ban applies to people from the government.
Renzi: all my activities are in full compliance with the law
The press office of the former prime minister’s formation underlined in a statement that he took the position on the board “in accordance with current Italian legislation” and that the “sustainable mobility sector is one of the most fascinating for the future of the planet”.
Renzi himself explained: “All my activities are carried out in full compliance with the law and as such concern my private sphere.”
According to media reports, the nine-person management board of the company received a total remuneration of over one million euros last year.
Main photo source: ROBERTO MONALDO / EPA / PAP