Sicily, 3.7 million from the Region for an event in Cannes but the governor knows nothing about it

The Department of Tourism refinances ‘Sicily, Women and Cinema’, Schifani asks for clarification. Oppositions arise

The Sicilian Region is funding the ‘Sicily, Women and Cinema’ review held in Cannes for 3.7 million euros. But the governor Renato Schifani knows nothing about it. The short circuit takes place in the new Sicilian regional government. The go-ahead for the event, which is held for the second consecutive year, comes from the regional Tourism Department headed by Francesco Scarpinato who, according to what was reported by the local newspaper ‘La Sicilia’, would have allocated 3 million and 750 thousand euros to the this year’s edition (compared to 2.2 million in 2022) by entrusting it “by negotiated procedure without prior publication of the notice” to a Luxembourg company. Schifani, “having heard the news from the newspapers”, sends a letter to his councilor in which he invites him “to provide all the details with the documentation of the deeds with respect to the decisions taken”.

In the case, the oppositions are triggered. The Democratic Party announces a question to the Ars and, closely followed by Sicily Vera and the South calls North. “Is there really a need to spend 3.7 million euros to set up a photographic exhibition of the Sicilian Region at the Cannes film festival? – says the group leader dem to Ars Michele Catanzaro – Before paying just one euro, we ask that they be clarified all aspects of this procedure, starting with the reasons that led to foreseeing such a high sum and to the reasons that would have led to entrusting the organization of the event with a negotiated procedure and therefore without a public tender to ‘Absolute Blue’, a company Luxembourg which would result in having just four employees”.

“It seems surreal that President Schifani not only says he is surprised about the exhibition in Cannes which he seems to have learned about from the newspapers, but even announces that he will ask for clarifications – remarked Danilo Lo Giudice, coordinator of the groups at Ars di Sicilia Vera and Sud calls North – Should the president tell us, at this point, if he lives in the regional government building, talks to his councilors or perhaps thinks he’s still in Rome?”. And he adds: “We are faced with an incredible waste of public resources. To promote Sicily in Cannes this year, a good 3.7 million euros will be needed and we must hear President Schifani affirm that he knew nothing about it. There are more aspects than do not add up in this story: from the history of the company to which the resources were allocated to the rather anomalous fact of having chosen to entrust this money without any tender. Alice in Wonderland is too convenient today. From a president of the Region we we expect more. We expect answers and above all we expect him to know how the Sicilians’ money is spent”.