Raffaele Fitto

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The Honourable
Raffaele Fitto
Raffaele Fitto daticamera.jpg
Vice-Chair of the European
Conservatives and Reformists
Assumed office
13 December 2016
Chairman Syed Kamall
Serving alongside Ryszard Legutko
Roberts Zīle
Helga Stevens
Geoffrey Van Orden
Hans-Olaf Henkel
Member of European Parliament
for Southern Italy
Assumed office
1 July 2014
In office
20 July 1999 – 20 June 2000
Member of Chamber of Deputies
In office
28 April 2006 – 25 June 2014
Preceded by new election
Succeeded by Nicola Ciracì
President of Apulia
In office
16 April 2000 – 4 April 2005
Vice President Giuseppe Brienza (2000-01)[1] Giovanni Copertino (2001-05)
Preceded by Salvatore Distaso
Succeeded by Nichi Vendola
Personal details
Born (1968-08-28) 28 August 1968 (age 49)
Maglie, Apulia, Italy
Political party Italian People's Party
United Christian Democrats
Forza Italia
The People of Freedom
Forza Italia
Conservatives and Reformists
Direction Italy
Profession Politician
Website www.raffaelefitto.it

Raffaele Fitto (born 28 August 1969) is an Italian politician, leader of Direction Italy, an Italian conservative party.


Raffaele Fitto was born in Maglie, Province of Lecce. His father, Salvatore Fitto, who was an exponent of the Christian Democracy (DC) and President of Apulia from 1985, died in 1988. Raffaele Fitto became regional councilor of Apulia in 1990 for DC;[2] in 1995, he was re-elected councilor for Forza Italia (FI), and he became vice-president of Apulia in Salvatore Distaso's government. In 1999 he was elected at European Parliament for FI (Berlusconi's party member of EPP), but in 2000 Fitto resign because he was elected President of Apulia: on April 2005 he was again candidate for Apulia's presidency, but he was defeated by the left-wing candidate Nichi Vendola, with a difference of 14,000 votes, a small margin. In the same year he became Forza Italia's regional co-ordinator, and in 2006 he was elected parliamentary at the Chamber of Deputies (known also as Montecitorio) for Forza Italia; in 2008 he was re-elected in Montecitorio for the new political party (member of EPP) The People of Freedom (PDL), merger of Forza Italia (FI) and National Alliance (AN, non-member of EPP).[3] In May 2008 Fitto was appointed Minister for Regional Affairs and Local Communities in Berlusconi IV Cabinet; he held the position until November 16, 2011. In February 2013 he was re-elected in Montecitorio for PDL.[4]

In October 2013 during Berlusconi-Alfano conflict he choose Berlusconi because Fitto's faction is rival of Alfano's faction (the core of NCD, a political party member of EPP split from PDL in November 2013) in South Italy, in November 2013 Fitto became a member of the new Forza Italia (the PDL with a new name). In May 2014 Fitto was elected at European Parliament for FI (Berlusconi's party member of EPP) and he was the most voted candidate in a single constituencies (the constituency of Fitto was South Italy) for all political parties in Italy in this European election. In July 2014 Fitto, the main candidate of FI, became a member, with all politicians of FI elected at European Parliament, of European People's Party parliamentary group. Fitto, in summer-autumn 2014, asked a new party congress and a primary election for leading FI, but Berlusconi refused: during Berlusconi-Fitto conflict, Verdini, who supported Berlusconi with Fitto againist Alfano, supported Berlusconi because Verdini is the "creator" of the Nazareno Pact with Renzi Cabinet.[5]

Following strong disagreement with Berlusconi about the leadership of FI (because Fitto's faction is against the Nazareno Pact with Renzi Cabinet), Fitto founded in February 2015 a counter-movement within Forza Italia called "the Rebuilders" (i Ricostruttori).[6] In April 2015 in Puglia the break with the leadership of Forza Italia was consolidated following the nomination of Francesco Schittulli (a former President of Province of Bari for PDL-FI in 2009-2014) as presidential candidate in the 2015 regional elections, in opposition to the Berlusconi's candidate Adriana Poli Bortone: for these elections Fitto founded an apulian movement called Beyond (Oltre).[7]

In the run-up of the 2015 UK general election Fitto, Capezzone and other 28 members of Italian Parliament (House and Senate) of their faction within FI had publicly endorsed Cameron in a letter to The Telegraph;[8] on 7 May 2015 Cameron win that election and Fitto asked Berlusconi and Verdini to resign as Leader-President and National Coordinator of FI, but Berlusconi and Verdini refused.

On 17 May 2015[9] Fitto left FI and the European People's Party parliamentary group[9][10] for joining the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group (ECR). On 3 June 2015 Fitto's faction within FI in Senate left Berlusconi's party and founded a new Senatorial group[11] named Conservatives and Reformists (Conservatori e Riformisti, CR) led by Anna Cinzia Bonfrisco, the first woman leading a center-right parliamentary group in the history of Italy. CR was established as a full-fledged party[12][13] on 16 July 2015 and Fitto became the first Leader-President of CR, the new Italian conservative party member of ECR parliamentary group in the European Parliament and also a member[14] of Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR), the eurosceptic and conservative political party active in EU led by British Conservative Party.[4] Fitto, member of ECR Group[4] since 19 May 2015[4] and Member of the Bureau for Italy of ECR Group[4] from 21 May 2015[4] to 12 December 2016,[4] was elected (this is the first time[15] for an Italian politician) as new Vice President (Vice Chairman) of ECR Group[15][4] on 13 December 2016. Raffaele Fitto and CR during a convention on 28 January 2017[16] formed Direction Italy (Direzione Italia, DI), a liberal-conservative coalition party, led by Fitto, of some political minor lists and parties active in national, regional and municipal political life around Italy.[16][17] The coalition of DI has the goal of creating a unified party list for the Italian liberal-conservatives ahead of the 2017 Italian local elections and ahead of the 2018 Italian general election. The unified party Direction Italy participated in the 2017 Italian local election: DI in 2017 increased the 2016 CR's vote in Apulia and it confirmed his status ad the most voted party of the Italian center-right in Apulia (Fitto's heartland), but failed to make inroads outside the region; Fitto on 17 June 2017 was unanimously[18] elected DI president at the party's first national congress.[19][20]

Legal problems

La Fiorita investigation

Fitto in 2006 was investigated by the Bari prosecutor in connection with a donation to his regional party La Puglia Prima di Tutto of 500,000 Euros by Tosinvest, a company owned by Antonio Angelucci, ahead of the 2005 Apulian regional election. According to the prosecution this amount was suspected of being a bribe to secure for the Apulia region the management of eleven nursing homes.

A request to arrest Fitto, who in the meantime had become a Member of the Italian Parliament, was rejected by the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Fitto in December 2009 was found guilty of abuse of office, corruption and illegal financing of political parties; Fitto was acquitted of some other charges in June 2012.[21]

Fitto in February 2013 was sentenced by the Court of first instance (Tribunale di Primo Grado, the first grade) to four years in prison and five years' disqualification from public office;[22] the sentence was commuted to 1 year.[23]

Fitto in September 2015 was acquitted of all charges by the Court of second instance (Corte d'Appello, the second grade).[24]

Fitto in June 2017 was acquitted of all charges by the Supreme Court of Cassation (Corte di Cassazione, the final grade).[25]

Bankruptcy of Cedis

Fitto in February 2009 was accused of conspiring, during his presidency of the Apulia region (2000-2005), to short-sell the trading company "Cedis", at that time (2004-2006)[26] in administration. The charges were filed in April 2009; however in March 2017 Fitto was acquitted of all charges by the Court of second instance (Corte d'Appello, the second grade).[27]


  1. ^ http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2001/12/29/un-blitz-di-fitto-nominato-copertino.html
  2. ^ http://www.glocaleditrice.it/record/dettagli.php?id_elemento=410
  3. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/5918/GENEROSO_ANDRIA_history.html
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/4465/RAFFAELE_FITTO_history.html
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ http://tg24.sky.it/tg24/politica/2015/02/21/berlusconi_forza_italia_raffaele_fitto_ricostruttori.html
  7. ^ http://www.affaritaliani.it/puglia/fitto-guarda-oltre-il-voto-schittulli-a-la-malafemmina-366486.html
  8. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/11562117/Letters-Voters-want-politicians-to-stop-hiding-the-facts-about-debt.html
  9. ^ a b http://bari.repubblica.it/cronaca/2015/05/17/news/fitto_addio_a_forza_italia_non_ci_sono_le_condizioni_per_restare_e_lascio_anche_il_ppe_-114583364/?ref=HREC1-13
  10. ^ http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/politica/berlusconi-taglia-fronda-basta-politici-mestieranti-se-vanno-1129599.html
  11. ^ http://www.ilvelino.it/it/article/2015/06/03/centrodestra-fitto-va-avanti-nasce-gruppo-conservatori-e-riformisti-al/9abaea38-e99b-4ead-8350-ccd0bf270f5c/
  12. ^ http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/notizie/2015-07-16/conservatori-fitto-lancia-simbolo-siamo-centrodestra-ma-no-ad-accordi-poco-chiari-165843.shtml?uuid=AC433hS&refresh_ce=1
  13. ^ http://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/articoli/Ecco-il-Leone-Blu-dei-Conservatori-e-Riformisti-Fitto-Noi-alternatici-a-Renzi-8fd00c02-c08b-4122-905f-8962a38eb9ca.html
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-23. Retrieved 2016-01-06. 
  15. ^ a b http://raffaelefitto.it/2016/12/13/fitto-eletto-vicepresidente-del-gruppo-ecr-dei-conservatori-e-riformisti-europei/
  16. ^ a b http://formiche.net/2017/01/29/direzione-italia-ecco-idee-e-alleati-del-nuovo-partito-thatcheriano-di-raffaele-fitto/
  17. ^ http://www.opinione.it/politica/2017/01/31/sola_politica-31-01.aspx
  18. ^ http://www.quotidianodipuglia.it/lecce/direzione_italia_fitto_eletto_presidente-2509868.html
  19. ^ http://www.agoramagazine.it/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=18018:direzione-italia-fitto-eletto-presidente-all-unanimita-nel-1-congresso-liberi-da-inciuci-e-inganni-ne-grillini-ne-nazareni&Itemid=485
  20. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2017/06/16/raffaele-fitto-allhuffpost-salvini-e-meloni-vogliono-le-prima_a_22364815
  21. ^ http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2012/06/01/processo-la-fiorita-assoluzione-con-formula-piena-per-raffaele-fitto/249301/
  22. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2013/02/13/tangenti-condannato-a-4-anni-lex-ministro-raffaele-fitto-pdl_n_2674788.html
  23. ^ http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2013/02/13/processo-fiorita-ex-ministro-raffaele-fitto-condannato-a-4-anni-di-carcere/497507/
  24. ^ http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2015/09/29/raffaele-fitto-assolto-dallaccusa-di-corruzione-nellinchiesta-fiorita-non-ci-fu-tangent/2078411/
  25. ^ http://www.lagazzettadelmezzogiorno.it/news/home/903257/legali-per-cassazione-nessuna-corruzione-addebitabile-a-fitto.html
  26. ^ http://bari.repubblica.it/cronaca/2012/07/09/news/inchiesta_su_turbativa_d_asta_fitto_rinuncia_alla_prescrizione-38772349/
  27. ^ http://www.quotidianodipuglia.it/lecce/cedis_bari_fitto_montinari-2343183.html

External links

  • (in Italian) Raffaele Fitto - official website
  • (in Italian) Direzione Italia - official website
  • Personal profile of Raffaele Fitto in the European Parliament's database of members
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