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Court president slams tax evasion, lawlessness in Italy

'Corruption still present in country' says Giampaolino

16 February, 12:55
Court president slams tax evasion, lawlessness in Italy (ANSA) - Rome, February 16 - The head Italy's audit court on Thursday sharply criticised the level of respect for law and order in the country, especially when it comes to paying taxes. "Lawlessness, corruption and malfeasance are phenomena that are still largely present in the country," said President of the Court of Auditors Luigi Giampaolino in a speech inaugurating the judicial year. "Their dimensions far exceed what is often painstakingly brought to light". Giampaolino, a former watchdog for the public works sector, pointed out there was a tax gap of 36% on value added tax (VAT) alone. "That is by far the highest among big European countries, with the exception of Spain". With cash needed to balance the budget by 2013 and emerge from the debt crisis, Premier Mario Monti has launched a drive against tax cheats, who he recently said "are giving poisoned bread to their children".

Giampaolino said 2011 will go down in history for the "severity of the economic situation and the anxiety with which governments have pursued the remedies required to deal with it and contain the most devastating effects".

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