Your Selection was Accurate

Your Selection was Accurate

The Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, has publicly accepted the resignation of the undersecretary for Culture, Vittorio Sgarbi. This announcement comes from Tokyo, where Meloni is currently attending the handover of the presidency of the G7. The resignation follows an Antitrust ruling that declared Sgarbi’s activities as a lecturer incompatible with his government role. Meloni stated that she had been waiting for “objective elements” before commenting on the situation.

Sgarbi had, in a letter, asked Meloni to investigate whether there were similar incompatibility situations involving other members of the government. Meloni, however, has declined this request. She stated that it was excessive to expect the government to decide on other cases based on non-objective elements. She further expressed her belief that Sgarbi made the right choice by resigning and thus, accepted his resignation.

The opposition had previously urged Meloni to take a position on the matter. This was after Sgarbi had spoken of a “certain resignation” following a “negotiation” with the government. The Democratic Party, represented by the group leader in the Culture Committee in the Chamber, Irene Manzi, had described the situation as unprecedented and embarrassing for the institutions. They had urged Meloni to put an end to the “blackmail and unspeakable dancing”. Similar calls for clarity were also made by the 5 Star Movement. The party had initially moved to revoke Sgarbi’s position, a motion also signed by the Pd and Avs. This motion remains active until Sgarbi officially formalizes his resignation.

Sgarbi himself has explained the process he will follow post-resignation. He expressed satisfaction that his resignation was considered correct by the president. He also stated that he is eager to hand it over personally. He agreed with Meloni’s comments but highlighted that the Antitrust investigation against him had started due to anonymous letters. He expressed concern that similar situations could arise for other government members, potentially leading to a wave of accusations.

Sgarbi clarified that he had always planned to resign and had raised the procedural issue of appealing to the TAR as provided for in the Agcom resolution. He expressed his desire to meet with Meloni to discuss the compatibility between his resignation and his appeal. He suggested that self-suspension might be more appropriate during the appeal process.

Sgarbi confirmed that his resignation is not dependent on the outcome of the TAR appeal. He stressed that the Antitrust resolution could potentially be nullified by the TAR ruling. He further explained that the Agcm resolution is not final and that an appeal can be lodged with the TAR of Lazio under certain conditions. He also noted that an extraordinary appeal could be lodged with the President of the Republic within a specified time period.

Sgarbi clarified that his resignation would be effective at the end of the administrative process involving the TAR ruling. He emphasized that he would leave even if the sentence was in his favor. In the meantime, he plans to self-suspend. He expressed his desire not to obstruct the TAR proceeding, which provides for the ‘suspension’ of the antitrust resolution, with his immediate resignation. He concluded by stating that the Prime Minister must understand the incompatibilities raised by the Antitrust in arbitrary and contradictory terms, without a comparative evaluation of other obvious incompatibilities of members of the executive.