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EC reckons corruption at 40% of Italian public contracts

Italy's high-speed rail cost six times other places, report says

03 February, 15:50
EC reckons corruption at 40% of Italian public contracts (ANSA) - Brussels, February 3 - Corruption in large-scale infrastructure projects in Italy is estimated to account for 40% of the total value of the contracts, the European Commission's first anti-corruption report revealed on Monday.

The EU Anti-Corruption Report warned that large public projects, like the post-earthquake reconstruction of l'Aquila, Milan Expo 2015, and the future Turin-Lyon high-speed rail link were particularly at risk of "criminal infiltration" and "misappropriation of public funds".

The report placed suspicion on completed high-speed rail construction in Italy, noting that its costs were four to 10 times greater than other locations in Europe and Japan.

In Italy, construction costs for high-speed rail ranged from 47.3 million euros per km for the Rome-Naples link to 96.4 million euros per km for the Bologna-Florence link, and averaged 61 million euros per km overall.

High-speed rail links Paris-Lyon and Madrid-Seville cost 10.2 and 9.8 million euros per km, respectively.

The Tokyo-Osaka high-speed train cost 9.3 million euros per km, the EC said.

The report pointed out that the cost differences in themselves were "inconclusive", but could turn out to be indicators of "possible mismanagement" or "irregularities" in public procurement tenders. The EC recommended more transparency in Italian public tenders, both before and after they are granted, noting that the same advice was among EC recommendations for Italy in July 2013.

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