SPEAKING UP: Insisting that he was speaking as a “mere Italian citizen,” Diego Della Valle had a few suggestions for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi through the columns of Italy’s daily La Repubblica on Thursday. Although the interview mainly revolved around the changes to the Constitution that Renzi is working on in Parliament, it also offered the entrepreneur the opportunity to take another jab at former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, whom he has often criticized. Referring to the Constitution, Della Valle warned against “shoulder charging” the text, enacted back in 1947, as it stems “from an idea of the country that gives it a soul, in which all citizens recognize themselves. Today you can’t see the soul of this constitutional reformation. Because it’s not there. There is no culture and no leading idea.”

Della Valle, who heads the Tod’s group and has a diversified portfolio of investments, ranging from media to sports, manufacturing and transportation, said “the economy takes absolute priority, so I hope that Renzi in September will present a real industrial development plan for the country, taking the time he needs, but letting us understand the direction we are going.”

This story first appeared in the August 1, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Della Valle, a longtime Renzi endorser, did not withdraw his support to the young politician, but said he is looking for “a big change and for a discontinuity with the past. Since Renzi has said he wants to do this, I hope and wish it will be Renzi to do so. But if there is something that does not convince me, I tell him — privately and publicly, as one should do amongst loyal individuals.”

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