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"Panziri's Threats to Nominate a Lawyer": Who is Eleonora Cembro, the former deputy head of the Italian-Moroccan Federation?

“Panziri’s Threats to Nominate a Lawyer”: Who is Eleonora Cembro, the former deputy head of the Italian-Moroccan Federation?

Before the scandal in Brussels, Antonio Panzieri was not a well known name to the general public: the MEP and former trade unionist was never one he liked to talk about. But in the Bersani current in the Democratic Party – the “company” then moved to Article 1 – everyone knows that his personality was an influencer and listener of character, capable of creating and destroying private jobs in the Milanese district, the area in which he works. He always had a fullness of voices. And there is a former deputy who is unanimously considered in the local party as the daughter of his political godmother. Her name is Eleonora Sembro, she is from Polat (the hinterland of the Lombard capital) and a few years ago she attracted the attention of the newspapers for a strange series of changes in jackets: she was elected to the Chamber with the Democratic Party in 2013, at the end of the Legislative Council she moved to the Mdp party along with the The left of the party, except that – the re-election failed – joined Matteo Salvini’s clique. What catches the eye now, however, is above all another aspect of her biography: Sembro was president of the Italian-Moroccan Parliamentary Union, an institutional “friendship group” created – as the Rabat Embassy website reads – in order to “strengthen the bonds of unity between the two countries”. And to highlight the progress made by the Kingdom of Morocco under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. During her tenure, she dealt in an important way with relations with the Maghreb country, whose secret services – according to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office – paid Banzi money to interfere in the decision-making processes of the European Parliament.

Pro-Rabat activity in the room… Numerous sources in the local Democratic Party confirm that the relations between the two were very close. Already in 2009, the former deputy, then a young campaigning democrat, organized dinners and events in Polati for Panziri’s election campaign, in the run for a second term in Brussels. But the qualitative leap comes at the end of 2012, when the MEP decides to launch and support (“belly on the floor,” as one of the directors says) in the primaries that will select candidates for parliament. The result surprises everyone a bit: Sembro, a little-known councilor from Bolatti, collects 2,372 preferences in the province of Milan, finishing just behind the senior citizens and earning an excellent spot on the list. At Montecitorio, she immediately becomes a group leader on the Foreign Affairs Committee, despite having no background in that field (she is a literature teacher by trade). In 2016, it will be scheduled to ratify two important judicial agreements with Rabat, which expand the possibility of granting the Kingdom the extradition of accused and convicted persons, and narrow the list of “political crimes” that prevent extradition, with the exception of all those from terrorism. Sembero said in the room that Morocco “is a country that we consider quite strategic in terms of security at a crucial moment for Europe.”

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…Outside – Besides parliamentary activity, there is a busy travel and PR agenda: in the spring of 2017, in particular, the Article 1 deputy travels to the Maghreb twice in a few weeks. From March 17 to 21, he is at the third edition of the Crans Montana Forum, an international summit on cooperation sponsored by Mohammed VI. It is no coincidence that it happens every year in Dakhla, a disputed city in Western Sahara, the vast territory controlled by Rabat but claimed by the Sahrawi Berber people: a very delicate international dispute, in which the king has always sought political support from his Western partners. Back in Rome, Sembero recounted the experience in a public meeting with Hassan Abou Ayoub, the Moroccan ambassador to Italy: “I think Morocco is a prime example that other North African countries should seize,” she says, praising Mohamed for “introducing important changes in the constitution, although example by recognizing Tamazight as an official language. I think it is the best way to accompany these countries in their democratic transition,” he says. Shortly thereafter, from May 15 to 19, she returned to Rabat again to meet with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives: by the way, in addition to reaffirming Morocco’s position as a “strategic country” and “praising its” reforms and democratic transition “, he invites “to adopt a peaceful solution to the Sahara issue, with regard to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom” (disassociating itself, therefore, from the claims of independence of the Sahrawis).

Panziri Trends – Cimbro will not be re-elected in the 2018 politics due to the failure of the Liberi e Equal, which prevented her seat from being activated (she was second on the Senate list of the Milan region, behind Francesco Laforgia). Soon he will move to the league. Even on that occasion, Panziri is known to have done everything to ensure her armored candidacy. This was confirmed by Rosa Fioravanti, a longtime academic and hawkish whose Leo youth suggested (in an open letter) that they line up as leaders in Milan: “He was very annoyed at the initiative” to go (or send people on his behalf), MEPs recalled in a Facebook post. ) to some of these helpless activists, to make it clear that it is a shame that you asked for my nomination because the only possible nomination should have been the outgoing MP,” i.e. Cimbro. Similar testimony comes from Paolo Razzano, Head of Local Authorities of Milan PD: “In 2015, Panziri was very interested in the municipal elections in Polati, which prompted Sembro to be a mayoral candidate. Something rather strange for a MEP as important as he is. In that The time I was in charge of organizing and I remember a very unpleasant and pressing telephone call on the matter. It is the only time in twenty years of politics that I have felt threatened by a comrade in the party.”

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“My candidacy? A proposal of the party – The did He got on the phone with the now Northern League politician, asking about his relations with Panziri. It is the same ties that anyone involved in politics had with the Lombardy Democratic Party. He replied, “Everyone knows him, and no one expected such a thing.” He says that his selection as president of the Italian-Moroccan federation “was an institutional appointment proposed by the party and approved by the council.” Why is she? “No particular reason, I was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.” With the Friendship Group, he says, “we carried out international missions, clearly led by chamber officials. On one occasion I went to Western Sahara with Honorable Khaled Shawky, who, as you know, is originally from Morocco, to observe the state of the conflict. Once again a delegation of them came to Rome. It was Those are the reports.” He concludes: “I am out of all circles, I do not have a job and I do not intend to talk about things that have nothing to do with what is happening now. I am just bitter, I left the left precisely because of the hypocrisy that this story now shows.”