the republic logo

Italian infrastructure minister resigns after ex-aide arrested in probe of construction work

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

ROME — Italy's infrastructure minister resigned Friday, days after the arrest of a former top official in a corruption probe of some of the nation's major public works projects.

Minister Maurizio Lupi told Parliament he was stepping down even though he is not under investigation. He denies any wrongdoing. No replacement for Lupi was immediately named.

Four people, including the ex-ministry official who oversaw infrastructure projects under seven governments, have been arrested.

PHOTO: Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi sits at the Lower House before announcing his resignation in Rome, Friday, March 20, 2015. Four people, including the ex-ministry official who oversaw infrastructure projects under seven governments, were ordered arrested on Monday. Prosecutors are investigating suspected corruption in connection with some of Italy's most ambitious projects, including stretches of a high-speed train line, the Italian pavilion for the world's fair that opens soon in Milan and Rome's subway expansion. Lupi told Parliament Friday he decided to step down even though he is not under investigation. He denies any wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Giuseppe Lami, Ansa) ITALY OUT
Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi sits at the Lower House before announcing his resignation in Rome, Friday, March 20, 2015. Four people, including the ex-ministry official who oversaw infrastructure projects under seven governments, were ordered arrested on Monday. Prosecutors are investigating suspected corruption in connection with some of Italy's most ambitious projects, including stretches of a high-speed train line, the Italian pavilion for the world's fair that opens soon in Milan and Rome's subway expansion. Lupi told Parliament Friday he decided to step down even though he is not under investigation. He denies any wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Giuseppe Lami, Ansa) ITALY OUT

Prosecutors are investigating construction contracts involving some of Italy's most ambitious projects, including stretches of a high-speed train line, the Italian pavilion for the world's fair that opens soon in Milan and Rome's subway expansion.

Premier Matteo Renzi's government has been plagued by coalition bickering almost from its inception last year but Renzi dismissed any notion Lupi's departure would hurt his government.

There will be "no consequence of a political nature for the government," Renzi told reporters in Brussels. "We will go forward with reforms."

With fighting corruption one of Renzi's priorities, some in the government sought to put a positive spin on the resignation of Lupi, who is from the New Center Right party founded by defectors from former Premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right party.

"I think that this government can come out strong from this chapter," Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.