An Italian junior minister, Carlo Malinconico, has resigned from his position as Prime Minister Mario Monti’s undersecretary following revelations about his connection with a business man under investigation for corruption.
The BBC reports that Malinconico, who is responsible for Italy’s publishing and newspaper industries, had a luxury Tuscan hotel stay paid for by businessman Francesco Maria De Vito Piscicelli in 2007 and 2008. Piscicelli is being investigated over building contracts he was awarded in 2008 in the aftermath of the Aquila earthquake.
According to the Washington Post, Maliconico was unaware that Piscicelli had paid his bill at the hotel. He had made his booking at the luxury resort through his acquaintance Angelo Balducci and did not intend his $25,000 bill to be paid by anyone else. Balducci is also under investigation relating contracts he was awarded at the 2009 G8 Conference.
Malinconico is the first casualty in the newly constructed Italian government under Mario Monti. The Prime Minister has previously stressed the need for greater transparency within his government.