‘Santa Claus doesn’t exist,’ conductor tells kids at Italian Frozen show

Maybe, facing the combined power of Disney and Christmas, orchestra conductor Giacomo Loprieno should have just let it go.

'Santa Claus doesn't exist,' conductor tells kids at Italian Frozen show
The show combined live performances with scenes from the Disney blockbuster Frozen. Photo: Dimensione Eventi/Facebook
At the end of a musical adaptation of the children's movie “Frozen,” Loprieno stood up after the last notes had died away, with an urge to convey to his young audience an unpalatable truth.
“Santa Claus doesn't exist,” he said.
Stunned parents who had taken their kids to the event in Rome on Thursday took to social media to express their fury, the press reported on Saturday.
“What happened that evening was outrageous… I hope this 'gentleman' will lose his job, and I am angry at myself for having applauded him,” Oberto Bevilacqua posted on the Facebook page of the organisers, Dimensione Eventi
Loprieno has since been replaced by another conductor… whose Facebook page shows him cosily alongside Santa.

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Northern League leader lashes out over frozen bank accounts

The leader of the far-right Northern League has accused magistrates of trying to derail the party ahead of general elections after a Genoa court froze several of its bank accounts.

Northern League leader lashes out over frozen bank accounts
Northern League leader Matteo Salvini. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

The court froze the accounts after a request by prosecutors in connection to the July conviction of Umberto Bossi, the party’s founder, and two others for fraud.

Northern League leader Matteo Salvini said the court was trying to stop the party’s advance as it enjoys a “historic high” in popularity in the run-up to general elections, which are due before May 2018.

A recent poll suggested that the party, which mostly campaigns on an anti-immigrant platform, would win 15 percent of the vote if an election was held now.

“They are trying to get rid of us from newspapers, from TV, from radio and from parliament,” he was quoted by La Repubblica as saying.

“But they won’t succeed. In a democracy it’s the citizens who decide who wins and who loses.”

Bossi was handed a jail term of two years and three months for using thousands of euros in public money to fund an extravagant lifestyle. His son, Renzo, was also convicted in the case and given a one and a half year sentence.

Francesco Belsito, the party’s ex-treasurer, received the longest sentence of three years.

Prosecutors alleged that Bossi had used more than €200,000 in funds provided by the state to political parties to pay personal expenses between 2009 and 2011.

Belsito was found to have embezzled nearly half a million euros, while Renzo Bossi more than €140,000, including several thousands to pay traffic tickets and €77,000 to buy a diploma in Albania.

Bossi, once a key ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was forced out of his party in 2012 after the allegations emerged. Salvini has led the party since then.