Foundations – The Sponsor First of All

Philip Morris, with British American Tobacco, finances “Italianieuropei” of Massimo D'Alema, while on BAT’s pay sheets, there are also “Formiche,” of Follini, and “Magna Carta” of Berlusconi’s senator Quagliarello.

The tobacco multinationals have taken the place of the old political currents, and financing a galaxy of foundations and associations, they are conditioning the agenda of Italian politics.

Tracking down an identikit of the sponsors and knowing how much money they hand out to our politicians is not easy. Foundations, in fact, have no obligation to make their bookkeeping and sources of funding public.

What sort of culture and values can these money-wasting machines propose, essentially hunting for resources and expense reimbursements? And how can they seek the Country’s interests with their countless conventions, magazines and study centers?

Favors to the Sponsor

Judging by the immense favors received, and by the fact that Big Tobacco never cares about anyone, the official figures of the sponsorships, besides a few self-certifications and some “no comments,” might be just the tip of the iceberg.

Today foreign cigarette manufacturers are the bosses of the entire Italian market, brands, factories and distribution, and no one has anything to say.

Big Tobacco has fired Italian workers, transferred its production abroad and stopped paying taxes in Italy where it makes a profit of 2 billion 800 million a year.

None of our political VIPs or our aspiring VIPs wants to increase taxes on cigarettes, which would bring money to the State coffers. None of them misses the chance to preach in favor the Minimum Price, which brings more earnings to their sponsors.

Even the galaxy of consumer associations is in favor the Minimum Price, obviously “to safeguard public health, starting from the children.”

But at the same time, all these sponsored parties are allowing the packet of ten cigarettes to pass in total silence; the ten-pack today is tolerated only in Italy and in some countries of the third world.

Money, Money, Money…

Today thanks to foundations, it is possible to get around the laws on public financing, starting from the ministerial funds, surrogate of the public subsidies to political movements.

Massimo D’Alema’s “Italianieuropei” (European Italians) has more than a million of turnover, for its Roman headquarters, it pays seven thousand euro a month, and it has two other centers in Milan and in Naples. With its Internet site, books, notebooks and magazines, together with a full agenda of conventions, it is a costly machine.

To finance itself, Italianieuropei turns to magazine advertising, purchased, among others, by Allianz, Sisal, MPS, Banca di Roma, Sky, ENEL, ENI, Fastweb, Telecom, Rai, Unicredit, Aeroporti di Roma and Novartis.

Then there are those commissioned conventions: British American Tobacco, for example, has requested one on the damage smoking does to minors….

Italianieuropei makes money also proposing itself as a consultant for festivals; the last was the one of the “Salute di Viareggio” (the Health of Viareggio), where the Minimum Price was exalted “as a safeguard to public health.”

But we must not forget that D’Alema is a meritorious figure of Big Tobacco, as it was he who neutralized (with the help of Vincenzo Visco and Oliviero Diliberto) the sentence of the Court of Cassation in 2001.

And so, thanks to “baffino,” Italy closed its eyes on 120 thousand billion lire evaded by Philip Morris.

Foundations, associations Politics
Fare Futuro Gianfranco Fini
Italianieuropei Massimo D’Alema, Giuliano Amato
Formiche Marco Follini
Magna Carta Marcello Pera, Gaetano Quagliariello
Nuova Italia Gianni Alemanno
Mezzogiorno Europa Giorgio Napolitano
Free Foundation Renato Brunetta
Democrazia Europea Sergio D’Antoni
Symbola Ermete Realacci, Emma Marcegaglia, Carlo De Benedetti, Diego Della Valle
Nens Vincenzo Visco, Pierluigi Bersani
Libertà e Giustizia Gustavo Zagrebelsky, Umberto Eco
Italia Protagonista Maurizio Gasparri
Italia Decide Luciano Violante, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Giulio Tremonti
Glocus Linda Lanzillotta
Folder Antonio Di Pietro
Italiafutura Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

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