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Renzi: Democratic primaries won’t be postponed


Party rocked by CONSIP probe, alleged membership irregularities.

ROME — Ex-premiere Matteo Renzi has ruled out a postponement in this month’s Democratic Party primaries in which he is standing to be re-elected leader of the center–left group. The Democratic Party has been rocked by a corruption probe in which Renzi’s father, Tiziano Renzi, is under investigation and by allegations of irregularities in new membership applications in Campania ahead of the party’s congress.

“The congress — with the primaries on April 30 — will be a great occasion to decide together what Italy we want in Europe and how the [party] should be the engine of that change,” Renzi wrote on his Facebook page. “So there is no alibi to postpone the debate.”

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini has denied reports that he had proposed a delay. “I never proposed postponing the primaries,” Franceschini told ANSA. “I don’t usually spend my days denying fanciful behind-the-scenes reports that regularly come out to cause trouble. But this time I want to do so to prevent a debate about something that has been invented.”

Tiziano Renzi, the father of ex-premiere Matteo Renzi, was questioned by investigators in relation to a probe into alleged corruption at civil-service procurement agency CONSIP. Tiziano Renzi, who is under investigation in the probe, denies any wrongdoing. L’Espresso magazine said CONSIP CEO Luigi Marroni told prosecutors that Renzi and former Berlusconi aide Denis Verdini — sentenced to nine years over a separate Florentine bank bankruptcy — “exerted pressure” on him over the commissioners for some tender competitions.

Alfredo Romeo, a high-profile Campanian businessman, was arrested in the CONSIP probe and Sports Minister Luca Lotti is under investigation, too.

The case has rocked the Democratic Party ahead of primaries in which Matteo Renzi is standing to be re-elected.

— Edited by Gabe Spadaccini

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