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Sicily blows EU funds on local festivals.

EU officials have said that the Sicilian regional government have frittered away 70 million euros of EU funds on local religious festivals, including the carnival of Termini Imerese and the carnival of Sciacca, the feast of St. Agatha in Catania, and a live nativity scene in Agrigento.      According to Il Fatto Quotidiano, these are just some of the events that Sicily has financed with European funds for tourism, those provided by the ERDF (European Regional Development Funds). The sum of 95 million euros, given by Brussels for events of great tourist value, has almost all been spent on festivals, and small local events.     Other events that have been financed by these funds include eight million given to the Sicilian Open, an all-Sicilian golf tournament, five million for world fencing, one million three hundred thousand euros for the Cous Cous Fest in San Vito Lo Capo, up to nine million euros on the Circuit of Myth, a big event created when the Department of Tourism was led by Daniele Tranchida and Nino Strano, the man who gained national notoriety when he ate a slice of mortadella in the Senate to celebrate the fall of the Prodi government.      “In most cases, the promotion of the area has been understood in a unidirectional sense, as a set of fragmented, uneven and sporadic activities of traditional type managed in prevalence by public bodies: events, communications campaigns, brochures, trade shows, educational, without a strategic vision for territorial unity “, writes the European Commission     “The public money went to finance events in the estates of politicians in office, whilst it should have been used to create a tourism development structure, as the name implies, they are called structural funds and not funds for festivals in the country: the politics of Sicily is unable to do so according to law, ” said the MEP member of MS5, Ignazio Corrao,  – See more at:

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