Milan

Northern League says it will no longer accept public funding

Regionalist party hit by financial scandals attempts cleanup

Northern League says it will no longer accept public funding

Milan, May 20 - The Northern League political party, which has been rocked by major financial scandals, announced Monday that it would not longer accept public funding but rely instead on donations. ''The principle is self-financing, we do not want money from anyone except party members," said League Secretary and Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni. He made the announcement at the end of a party meeting in which it approved a ''severe'' draft budget that did not feature public money. The anti-migrant party, which lobbies for greater autonomy for Italy's wealthier northern regions, has been under intense scrutiny after a big financial scandal. Last month, Milan prosecutors took measures to seized a yacht allegedly purchased by the son of Northern League party founder and former leader Umberto Bossi, as part of a wider investigation into the alleged misuse of public funds which earlier saw the former treasurer of the political group arrested. Former League treasurer Francesco Belsito was arrested in April on charges of alleged criminal association and aggravated fraud. He had been under investigation since a probe into alleged misuse of public funding to the party broke last year in a scandal that led Bossi to quit.

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