Why is this Italian airport getting renamed after a very controversial figure?

Milan Malpensa Airport is Italy’s second largest flight hub, but there has been uproar about the new proposal for its name change

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Milan Malpensa airport
Photograph: Shutterstock

It’s easy to not bat a weary, sleep deprived eye to the name of an airport when all you want to do is make it through passport control and head home, but plans to rename a particular hub in Europe has definitely caused some turbulence this week. 

Milan Malpensa Airport, Italy’s second largest air hub which in 2023 saw 26 million passengers pass through, will soon be renamed after none other than former Prime Minister (and convicted criminal) Silvio Berlusconi. 

Yes, you read that right. Italy’s former PM, who was the country’s leader for nine years and dubbed himself the ‘Jesus Christ of Politics’ is the new namesake for the airport. Berlusconi was also a billionaire whose premiership was plagued with accusations of corruption, tax fraud and his involvement in various sex scandals. Some guy. 

The announcement was made by Italy’s transport minister Matteo Salvini during a conference on July 5, and Berlusconi’s party colleagues lauded him for his charisma, entrepreneurial skills, and his contributions to Italy’s economy. But there are plenty of people very unhappy with the decision. 

The left-wing Young Democrats of Lombardy group have launched a petition to reconsider the decision, and that’s already garnered 16,000 signatures. What’s more, according to Politico, Nicola Di Marco, leader of the 5Star Movement in Lombardy, said this proposal is ‘a sign of the total decay of Italian institutions.’

It’s a contentious decision to say the least. Stay tuned for more updates and keep an eye on our news page for all the latest news on what’s happening across Europe. 

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