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Corruption worth 60bn euros in Italy, half of EU total

'Mafia-linked politics, low integrity to blame' says EC report

03 February, 14:18
Corruption worth 60bn euros in Italy, half of EU total (see related) (ANSA) - Brussels, February 3 - Corruption in Italy is worth 60 billion euros, half of the 120-billion-euro total in all the European Union, according to a European Commission report issued Monday.

A key factor in Italy's high rate of corruption is the link between politics and organized crime, said the report. Another is "the low level of integrity of elected representatives". Both examples, it said, "are among the most worrying aspects, as evidenced by the high number of corruption investigations (in Italy)". It also criticizes a new Italian anti-corruption law for "leaving unresolved" various problems by "not modifying the statute of limitations nor rules against false accounting and money laundering, and it does not make trading votes a felony". The report also says Italy has much to do to fight conflicts of interest in the government. It goes on to make a series of suggestions to the worst offender in Europe. First among them is for Italy to "block the adoption of ad personam laws," which "on several occasions have impeded attempts" to guarantee swift trials.

"Corruption undermines citizens' faith in their institutions and damages the economy, depriving countries of tax revenues that are particularly necessary in this moment of crisis," said European Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in presenting the report.