During a conference on the annual report of public administration, the president of Lazio Claudio Lotito spoke about the difficulties that an entrepreneur finds in investing in Italy, whilst also touching on the new Stadio della Roma.
The entrepreneur must have a certain timeline, a legal certainty, and not what has happened until now – a situation where there are rules that say one thing and then the opposite and must be interpreted in a certain way. I am reminded of the saying ‘the law for friends is interpreted and for enemies is applied, and in addition to being right you have to find who’ll give it to you’. This is not possible because then in the end, you discourage initiatives, you create responsibilities towards the class that is in charge of taking certain measures, with those especially responsible for it being less courageous, not wanting to be held accountable.
On the Stadio della Roma:
A typical example is what’s happening with the Stadio della Roma. Without going into detail, that intervention of the judiciary was born because there was no prior consent. I don’t know if there have been any violations, it’s not up to me to say. Probably those who have acted will have done so in good faith, but the problem is the lack of preventive acts, it needs a non-political assent, a technical, legal, administrative and accounting one. Once prior consent has been obtained, deadlines must be met and they cannot be extended. For example, in 2004 I used a law of 2002 in order to be able to make a transaction with the tax authorities. Nobody wanted to do this because the law had never been applied before. But if it exists, why can’t it be done? If we apply it once, it must be applied to everyone. But then why did you make this law? Those who do business must have certainties. How is it possible that companies don’t pay VAT, don’t pay the INPS, participate in tenders and then only after winning the tender you realise that they didn’t even meet the requirements?
On the strategy at Lazio:
The real problem is that this country produces debts. No-one says so. When I joined Lazio, the finances were €84m in revenue, €86.5m in losses and €500m in debts. I considered it a challenge like no other. The first thing I was worried about was stopping the losses. You have to try to keep the spending down. In the end, it takes common sense like all things. We need clear rules that are not applied in a discretionary manner. We need verification of implementation at the preventive and consultative stages.
Lotito has been the owner of Lazio since 2004 and has helped the club to four trophies, including two Coppa Italia.