Saturday, August 15, 2015

Quis custodiet ipsos Financial Police?

Seems there is no shortage of candidates for the job in Italy, according to Corriere Della Sera;
[General Michele] Adinolfi [who has been trying to oust his boss, Saverio Capolupo since last year] appealed to politicians to prevent general Capolupo from staying on in charge of the financial police. It’s a paradoxical consequence of the law that says the job must go to the longest-serving general. And it also gives some idea of the current atmosphere within the financial police. Tensions run high, inevitably affecting the decisions of a commander who knows there are very few people he can trust. With nine months remaining to the end of General Capolupo’s term, no one can predict what will happen in the meantime. The gloves are off, internecine rivalries have been laid bare and there is a strong risk of a breakdown in relations at the top which could have negative repercussions throughout the force.
Non capisco? Well, we're just getting started;
On 3 April, the papers carried excerpts from the Carabinieri NOE ecological operational unit report lodged by magistrates in Naples following the arrest of executives from the CPL Concordia energy cooperative. The report highlighted “the reaction of General Michele Adinolfi to the proposed extension of General Saverio Capolupo’s term as commander of the financial police and his declaration that he would not take it lying down”. Moreover, there was “the fact that just before the proposal in cabinet to appoint the commanding general of the financial police, Adinolfi visited the offices of a political party [the Democratic Party (PD) - Ed.], using a side entrance”. There are references to “the general’s exchanges with Matteo Renzi and Luca Lotti”, including numerous text messages, but the conversations have been redacted and there are no details. Officially, General Capolupo did not react but General Adinolfi publicly denied any intrigue. And there was more. The already tepid relations between the two cooled to freezing and what had been a suspicion on the top floor of Via XX Settembre became a certainty. The manoeuvre to prevent General Capolupo obtaining an extension of tenure lay exposed, although the detail was missing and it was unclear who had helped General Adinolfi weave his web of political contacts. Capolupo could be satisfied that the prime minister had not given in to pressure but the commander still had to find out which officers he could trust.
So, what is it the Financial Police do? Seems like whatever they feel like. Now, the cool guys are the highway patrol;

Which might be part of the explanation of why French economist Christian Thimann is not bullish on Southern Europe's chances these days. Wages of government workers in Italy have grown 60 percent since the lira was abandoned for the euro in 1999 (80% in Spain, 110% in Greece) with practically no increase in real productivity.

As the Corriere Della Sera article shows, maybe their interests are a bit too narcissistic;
On 17 January, when activity related to Capolupo’s imminent reconfirmation was at its height, Carabinieri [yet another Italian police force] officers recorded a phone conversation noting: “Bardi calls Adinolfi and says: ‘So-and-so told me you are at the inspectorate at six... then at eight we’ll go and get the ladies’. They say they are going to the Taverna Flavia ‘just to be together for a while’. Adinolfi says he will be ‘at the inspectorate at 5.30’”. The investigators confirmed that the meeting at the inspectorate would be in Toschi’s office and that the three were having dinner together with their wives. A concealed microphone was placed in the restaurant and the topic of conversation was, as always, how to get rid of Capolupo. Adinolfi himself had said as much only a few days earlier to Dario Nardella, one of Matteo Renzi’s closest confidants and former principal private secretary to economy minister, Vincenzo Fortunato. The general then vented his rage on the minister of the day, Fabrizio Saccomanni: “I’m not going any more. I want the minister to listen, I’ve made my voice heard by better ministers than him and well he knows it”.

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