Federica Guidi has resigned from the Ministry of Economic Development since the publication of a conversation with her partner Gianluca Gemini, intercepted during an investigation led by the public prosecutor of Potenza, which concerned oil-extraction waste disposal. Matteo Renzi thanked the former minister for the work done from the United States and said that it was a “painful and personal decision, motivated by pragmatic reasons”. He also expressed his approval of this decision. In the next few days, added the Italian premier, “I will propose the successor to the head of state.”
The investigation led to the arrest of six people and blocked Eni’s production in Val D’Agro, as a result of two seizures in the Viggiano oil center. Guidi has not been recorded in the minutes, whereas Gemini is under investigation. But a phone call between the two of them, in which the minister commits to approve an amendment to unlock a plant in Tempa Rossa (Potenza), led to her hasty resignation. The opposition does not simply accuse the minister of “conflict of interest” and announce motions of censure, but a chilling silence is maintained by the majority.
It was eight o’clock in the evening when Guidi wrote to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who is currently on an official visit to US: “Dear Matteo, I am completely sure of my good faith and that my work has been fair. Nonetheless, I thing that, due to pragmatic political reasons, my resignation is a necessary action. I will continue to work for the good of our wonderful country as a citizen and as an entrepreneur,” writes the former president of the Youth of Confindustria, who was appointed head of the Development Ministry by Renzi. The interception that ended up in the eye of the storm dates back to 2014: “We should be able to put in the Senate, if ‘Mariaelena’ agrees, the amendment that came out that night, at 4 o’clock in the morning”, Guidi said to her partner.
The Minister referred to an amendment that the government was on the point of introducing in the stability law to work for the Total oil center in Red Tempa district, in Corleto Perticara (Potenza). Gemini himself, who leads two companies in the oil sector, had an interest in unblocking it. The “Maria Elena” they mention is the Minister of Relations with the Boschi Parliament. Immediately after having talked to Guidi, Gemini calls the director of an oil company and informs him of the amendment – which has been already rejected once – to “unlock Red Tempa: I call you – he says – because I have good news for you.”
The investigation led by Potenza judges concerns the illegal disposal of oil waste in the center of Viggiano and cases on corruption in the construction of the Total oil center in Corleto Perticara. It involves about sixty people (Gemini for complicity in corruption and influence peddling) and six more people are under house arrest. “Talking about ‘eco-mafia crime’ is belittling because not only traditional mafia is involved, but also business-grounded organized crime on” says the National Anti-mafia prosecutor Franco Roberti. “Cheating mechanisms” are surfacing –he explains – that led to “unlawful savings” ranging between 44 and 110 million per year.