Saturday, 19 November 2011

Italy's new Tourism and Sports Minister

A couple of days ago Italy got a new Tourism and Sports Minister.

His name is Piero Gnudi and is a Minister in the new Italian goverment formed by Mario Monti. The cabinet will try to establish reforms to save the country from a financial disaster.

Piero Gnudi - will the Giro d'Italia benefit on his watch?

Downloaded here.

Gnudi is 73 years old, with a degree in Economics and Commerce from Bologna. He has been very active in different industrial companies, being Chairman in different boards up until now. Here is brief resumé of his career from Alma:

His political experience began in 1955 when he was appointed economic adviser to the Minster of Trade and Industry. Since 1994 he has served on the Board of Directors of IRI, he served as supervisor of privatizations in 1997, President and CEO in 1999 and Chairman of the liquidation committee in 2002. He is a Board Member of Confindustria, on the Steering Committee of Assonime, the Executive Committee of the Aspen Institute and Board of Directors of Unicredit. He is also the Chairman of Profingest and Vice President of Alma Graduate School.

He was the Board Chairman of Enel from May 2002 to April 2011. He has also been the President of Rai Holding, President of Locat, President of Astaldi and Board Member of Eni, Enichem, Stet, Merloni, Ferrè, Beghelli and Irce.

This is very important for the Giro. As a sports minister, Gnudi have access to the money (what's left that is), as the Tour in France, the Giro is of most cultural importance in Italy, both for inhabitants and for the tourists.  As well connected as Gnudi is, he is a major force to consider. As you can read form his CV, his past work also took him well into the RAI network, which could prove valuable for the RCS, the organisers of the Giro.

The Italian journalist Pier Bergonzi of the Gazzetta dello Sport tweeted yesterday that Gnudi has a passion for cycling and that he used to go for rides with Romano Prodi, the former prime minister. So, can a cycling enthusiast of a minister give the Giro the support it needs and help the RCS fulfil their plans? Not that the giro need any specific help in that matter, but in Italy relationships matter and is vital to drive a business forward. The giro is just that - a giant business. It is easy for us to forget that, but there are several million € at stake just for organising, and in order to be an annual event, the giro need to make money too.

It remains to see how this will be but I think it is a big advantage that the new Tourism and Sports Minister in Italy is a cycling enthusiast. After all, who else than the Minister for Tourism and Sports is best suited to keep the Giro under his wings?

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