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Brindisi. Mayor candidate insults reporter during conference

Lucia Portolano was accused by Nando Marino of producing gossip and ask not very intelligent questions. Local journalists ask for an action from the Order of the Puglia region

During the press conference where Nando Marino presented himself, the mayoral candidate for the Democratic Party in Brindisi (Puglia), the journalist Lucia Portolano, chief editor of Brindisi Oggi, was insulted by the politician who accused her of doing gossip and ask “not very intelligent” questions. The episode occurred on March 30, 2016 at the Hotel Orientale in Brindisi, where the event was attended by the President of the Puglia Region, Michele Emiliano, and another 200 people between Marino supporters and journalists.

The candidate mayor showed impatience also against another journalist, Roberta Grassi (ANSA and Nuovo Quotidiano di Puglia). The incident has raised controversy and discontent among local reporters who, on April 2, 2016, signed a letter to the Order of Puglia, and in cc the regional press association, so as to take action for what happened.

“I do not make it a personal battle – Lucia Portolano told Ossigeno – I just would like for the rules of a press conference to be reinstated, where journalists have to ask questions, and where the right to information is protected so that we can feel free to to do our job.”

Allegedly, Marino was annoyed by a question from Ms Portolano who asked him to clarify the rumors that until quite recently pointed him out as a candidate for the center-right coalition. In a second question, to which Marino always responded in the same tone, and cheered by his supporters, Portolano had inquired about a possible conflict of interest with his position as president of the basketball team Enel Brindisi in the event of a mayoral election. The basketball team has indeed as a major sponsor the energy company, which of course has relationships with local institutions and facilities in the territory of the Municipality. Marino stated that he does not want to give up his post, even if he were to become the mayor of the city.

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