Mrt 14 2014

Italian president: parliament not authorised to cut F-35 project

Gepubliceerd door om 20:41 onder Global F35 News

After debate in the Italian Parliament and press about possible new cuts in the F-35 fleet, president Giorgio Napolitana reacted with a very surprising coup to defend the F-35.

Since some months there are persistent rumors about further cutting of the purchase of the troubled F-35 combat jet, the so called “Plan Renzi” to recover the financial situation of the Italian Government after the Euro-crisis. The top of the Italian MoD, the Italian and US industry are becoming very nervous about the “Plan Renzi”, because it proposes to cut the F-35 fleet from the current 90 to 45 only (original planning 131) for the benefit of the alternative program Eurofighter.

Today the 88-year old president Giorgio Napolitno ordered the Supreme Defence Council putting on the agenda that the Parliament has no power to control the costs of defence, because it is “critical for the implementation of Law 244”. In other words: it is forbidden for the Parliament to cut (certain) defence projects, only the Government is in control of that. By doing this a serious institutional clash may be looming, because the preparation of the parliamentary Financial Committee of Matteo Renzi is in a final stage. MPs reacted with firmness, particularly the Democratic Party leader in the Defence Committee, Giampiero Scanu , earlier he spoke of an intervention out of place, because it is not the responsibility of the Supreme Defence Council to raise objections to an Act of Parliament.

One of the questions that would remain open, is the proposal to procure fifteen F35B vertical take-off aircraft for the Italian Navy to replace the Harrier aboard the aircraft carrier Cavour.
Parliament notified, that in the last five years of service is was only used for two missions, both humanitarian and sponsored by private individuals, because the defense had no money to pay for the fuel.

Independent newspaper Il Fatto Qutidiano; 14-mar-2014; Henri Piovesana;F35, Napolitano interviene per bloccare il diritto di scelta del Parlamento

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