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venerdì 26 settembre 2008
Calabria: i fondi dell'Unione Europea utilizzati per sponsorizzare la Nazionale di Calcio
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E' una di quelle storie che fa sobbalzare sulla sedia gli osservatori stranieri ed alimentare i luoghi comuni sul nostro paese.
La Regione Calabria sarà l'unico sponsor istituzionale della nazionale italiana di calcio, fino ai campionati mondiali del Sud Africa nel 2010: il costo dell'operazione sarà di 8 milioni di euro provenienti da fondi dell'Unione Europea.
"Fondi dell'Unione Europea dirottati sulla Nazionale di calcio" titola oggi il Daily Telegraph: "il governo regionale della Calabria, classificata come una delle regioni più povere dell'Europa, ha deciso di spostare i fondi per lo sviluppo economico dalla costruzione di porti alla sponsorizzazione della campagna verso la Coppa del Mondo".
L'articolo riporta il commento dell'europarlamentare britannico, Bill Newton-Dunn, che ha guidato una commissione di investigazione sulla destinazione dei fondi europei in Calabria: "la vicenda evidenzia che le cose stanno andando male. La Commissione Europea deve giocare un ruolo di controllo e revisione più diretto".
Ricordato ai suoi lettori come "la Calabria sia anche la patria della ndrangheta, una delle più violente e più potenti organizzazioni criminali accusata in passato di beneficiare dei fondi europei", il Daily Telegraph ribadisce come già lo scorso anno circa sei milioni di fondi per lo sviluppo provenienti dall'Unione Europea "siano stati spesi in una campagna pubblicitaria per combattere gli stereotipi nei confronti della regione".



EU funds diverted to Italy's football team

More than £6 million of European Union funds intended for developing the Calabria region in southern Italy is to be spent on sponsoring the country's football team.



By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels and Nick Squires in Rome
Last Updated: 10:44AM BST 24 Sep 2008

The regional government in Calabria, classed as one Europe's poorest regions, has decided to reallocate the economic development funds from building ports to paying for promotional branding during Italy's current World Cup campaign.

Beniamino Donnici, a Liberal Italian Euro-MP and former tourism minister in Calabrian government, has asked the European Commission to investigate why funding meant to help the poor has been diverted to one of the world's most successful and wealthy football federations.

"This is madness on a scale worthy of the Guinness Book of Records," he said.

"Why on earth is this public money being spent on the world champion football team and not on Calabria?"

Mr Donnici, who has released documents from the Calabrian administration to back up his claims, has also revealed that included in the cash transfer is a "testimonial" payment of £398,000 to a charity established by the Italian footballer Gennaro "Rino" Gattuso.

A member of Italy's victorious 2006 World Cup squad, Gattuso is a Calabresi and plays for AC Milan, one of the world's wealthiest footballs clubs which is owned by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister.

The cash is to be donated to Forza Ragazzi Onlus, a foundation that aims to provide housing and sports facilities for young Calabresi boys.

Bill Newton-Dunn, a British Euro-MP who headed a European Parliament Budgetary Control Committee investigation into EU funding in Calabria, said the affair showed "things are going wrong".

"The European Commission, needs to play more direct audit and control role," he said.

"Mr Donnici is a brave man, I hope he is watching his back. We should support him."

Calabria, one of southern Italy's poorest regions, is also home to the N'drangheta, one of Italy's most powerful and violent mafia organisations which has been accused of siphoning off EU regional funding.

A spokesman for the European Commission stressed that Calabria's decision might fall within EU rules on promoting tourism but insisted that all funding decisions would be audited and any misspent cash paid back.

"There is a referee at the end of this. He might blow the whistle and hold up a red card. Or, he might congratulate Calabria on some nice play," he said.

Agazio Loiero, president of the Calabrian regional government, has defended the sponsorship deal as a good one to promote Calabria while raising its "positive image".

He has claimed that only £1.4 million will go directly to the Italian national team out of the £6.4 million EU fund, with other cash being spent on advertising related to the World Cup sponsorship.

Last year, Calabria attracted controversy by spending £4.8 million of EU funding on an advertising campaign to challenge stereotypes of the region.

One poster showed clean cut teenagers and a slogan: "Underworld? Yes we are Calabresi."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/3072348/EU-funds-diverted-to-Italys-football-team.html

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