Berlusconi party racks up hefty food bill

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Councillors in Emilia-Romagna have been exposed for squandering public money on everything from expensive dinner to trips to the loo. Photo: Dinner Series/Flickr
12:26 CET+01:00
Politicians from Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party in Emilia-Romagna have squandered three times as much on their lunch and dinners as their counterparts from the Democratic Party (PD).

PdL members of the Emilia-Romagna regional council each claimed an average of €18,000 in food expenses over a 19-month period, La Repubblica reported.

Meanwhile. penny-pinching politicians from Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s party, the centre-left PD, claimed just €6,000 a head in comparison.

Marco Monari, the head of the PD in the region, was forced to resign over the scandal on Monday after it was revealed he claimed five times more in expenses than his political allies. This included expensing €30,000 for food and €1,100 for two nights in a hotel in Venice - far from both Emilia-Romagna and the central government in Rome.

Smaller political parties have also been put under the spotlight for their pricey dinners.

Two councillors from the Five Star Movement (M5S) party claimed €9,000 each, despite belonging to a party which has repeatedly criticized other politicians for wasting public funds.

Councillors from the far-right Northern League party enjoyed lunches and dinners worth €13,000 each, the newspaper said.

The new revelations come two weeks after the council was formally put under investigation over the expenses scandal, which also include claims for toilet trips and a hairdryer.

READ MORE: Politicians exposed for toilet trips and cheese

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Financial police examined around 40,000 documents, before accusing the council of misusing public funds.

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