“I financed everyone, even the M5s… if the magistrate wants, I’ll name them”
“The oppositions keep quiet, in the past I financed them too“. Entrepreneur Stefano Bandecchi, president of Ternana and of the Niccolò Cusano telematic university, does not agree and thus replies – in an interview with Adnkronos – to the criticisms received from opponents of Francesco Rocca, the centre-right candidate for the presidency of the Lazio Region supported by him Controversy broke out after the investigation launched by the Guardia di Finanza, which ordered a seizure for 20 million in Unicusano (including a Rolls Royce, a Ferrari and a helicopter) with the charge of tax evasion.
The candidates of Pd and M5S, Alessio D’Amato and Donatella Bianchi, are now asking Rocca to clarify. In particular D’Amato wants to know if the support of Bandecchi, coordinator of Popular Alternative, for Rocca in the electoral campaign was also of an economic nature. “Yes, I’m also supporting Rocca financially“, admits Bandecchi, “I paid 60,000 euros for his campaign. I have no problem saying that. And in any case, I didn’t just finance him, but in the past also members of the opposition…“.
Who? “If the magistrate wants, I’ll give him all the names. The opposition just has to shut up. Think, I also wanted to finance D’Amatowho is a decent person. I look at people. But if he doesn’t want my money, that’s fine“, replies the owner of Ternana, who insists: “I have financed representatives of various parties in my professional life”. Also of the Democratic Party? “I don’t remember if I have financed anyone from the Democratic Party”. someone from the M5S was also financed. But for privacy reasons I won’t name names.”
“It is sad – attacks the entrepreneur – that the Italian opposition falls into this ‘bullshit’. Someone like me, the opposition only has to thank him. There has already been an investigation in 2019 on the fact that my University has supported Tajani and Ciocca at the European elections. There was a detailed investigation and the magistrate shelved everything because he knew the laws. The money used to finance politics had been taken from university tuition current accounts. It was private money, therefore the funding was lawful”, underlines the coordinator of the Ap, a party that has several candidates on Francesco Rocca’s lists.
“Popular alternative supports Rocca, we have 5 candidates who are on the Rocca list for Rome, and one candidate for Frosinone. I remind the opposition that this is an investigation by the Guardia di Finanza which is based on assumptions, which has given rise to a seizure for 20 million. I don’t see why – Bandecchi told Adnkronos – we should withdraw from the electoral competition”.
Going into the merits of the investigation, Bandecchi defends himself: “As already mentioned, we believe we have always acted in compliance with the law that regulates the functioning of universities. The Gdf carried out a superficial investigation, totally forgetting the existing laws. La Finanza he claims that we have acted as if we had been a commercial company and we strongly reject this, our University has always offered legally recognized courses and masters. We do not sell onions”.
According to the Gdf, the entrepreneur’s “personal expenses” were also charged to the University. “As the Council of State has repeatedly reiterated – Bandecchi replies to Adnkronos – private universities have two souls: one public and one private, we believe we have full availability of our private part. We are neither the first nor the last University to use management surpluses, clearly private, to found and create ‘spin offs’. Google, for example, was born as a ‘spin off’ of a University, it was not born in a shopping mall. Even Bocconi, Polytechnic, Sapienza, Tor Vergata have a number of connections”.
The owner of Ternana continues: “I have been challenged by trips to England, France, Dubai: all places where we have businesses or commercial situations that we go to seek or experiment with. I am the president of a company with a turnover of 100 million, they hate me because perhaps I can manage this University better than others. They challenged me about a car I used to travel from Milan to Vercelli: but did I have to go by bus?”.
The Gdf also seized a helicopter. “Which we bought on leasing…”, points out Bandecchi, who now wants to write to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni: “I am writing a letter to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of the University to ask if the laws on the University have changed or remained the same. We have always acted in compliance with the law. I will write to Meloni to ask if I have to respect the Guardia di Finanza or the law. So far I have respected the law and they have seized 20 million from me”. Finally, the president of Unicusano vents: “Why is everyone so afraid of Bandecchi? “.
(by Antonio Atte)