• Italy's news in English

Italy still one of Europe's most corrupt countries

The Local · 3 Dec 2014, 11:38

Published: 03 Dec 2014 11:38 GMT+01:00

Showing no improvement on last year, Italy was ranked alongside Bulgaria, Greece and Romania out of 31 EU and western Europe nations in the Corruption Perception Index, based on expert opinion.

Globally, Italy came in 69th place out of 174 countries; being viewed as equally corrupt as Brazil, Senegal and Swaziland.

Scandinavia is perceived as the least corrupt part of the world, with Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway taking the top five spots alongside second-place New Zealand.

Valentina Rigamonti, Transparency International’s senior regional coordinator for Europe, told The Local that few improvements have been made in the past two years.

She drew on Milan’s Expo trade fair, being probed for contract rigging, as a high-profile example of the country’s corruption problem.

But Italy does have “very good legislation”, she said, such as the 2012 Severino law which was used to ban Silvio Berlusconi from office after a tax fraud conviction.

The government, however, needs to up efforts to implement existing anti-corruption laws, while new measures are also essential.

Rigamonti highlights Italy’s notorious statute of limitations, under which crimes “expire”, as a key area to work on. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said last month the law needed to change, after the conviction of a Swiss billionaire over thousands of asbestos deaths was overturned.

“The strengthening of whistleblowing legislation” is also a key ask from Transparency International.

“At the moment the whistleblowing rules are stronger in the private than public sector, but there is no legal protection,” Rigamonti said.

In a timely example of the reality behind Italy’s dismal score, the country’s financial police on Wednesday revealed a “cash for exams” scam at Rome’s largest university.

Story continues below…

La Sapienza University’s architecture faculty is under investigation for handing out fake traineeship certificates, course credits and exam results in exchange for money. Those involved in the scam face charges including extortion, abuse of office and embezzlement.

The index also comes a day after authorities announced a probe into a mafia-type organization at Rome’s city hall. Former mayor Gianni Alemanno and ex-terrorist have been put under investigation, while €200 million worth of assets were seized by police.

READ MORE: Ex-Rome mayor in city hall mafia probe

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italians in the UK: 'After all these years, we feel unwanted'
Thousands of young Italians have moved to London in recent years. Photo: TJ Morris

Italian expats in the UK shared feelings of anger, fear and confusion after Britain voted to leave the EU. And they never even got a say.

How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking to stay in Italy long term? Here's how.

Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
(L) Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, which campaigned for Britain to leave the EU and (R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Photos: Geoff Caddick/Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Britain may have taken a leap into the dark, but this is what's expected in Italy.

Europe needs renovating after Brexit: Renzi
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has called on the remaining EU members to reorganize the EU. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Renzi said it was "not an easy day."

'Brexit is a disaster for Great Britain': WW2 veteran
Harry Shindler MBE. Photo: Rosie Scammell

“I would have thought that 70 years of peace would have been sufficient for people to say ‘we’re not going to change’ anything."

Renzi calls urgent meeting as Italy's far-right rejoice Brexit
Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, summoned the country's top economic minds to his home on Friday morning. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, called an extraordinary meeting on Friday morning as global markets were plunged into turmoil by the UK's shock decision to leave the EU.

Brits in Italy left stunned after UK votes for Brexit
Britons on Thursday voted to leave the EU. Photo: Emanuel Dunand/AFP

Britons in Italy woke up to the shocking news on Friday that the UK has voted to leave the EU, sending the pound crashing and fuelling concerns about their future on the continent.

Venice beaches offer 'sun or your money back' deal
Venice beaches are offering 'weather insurance' in a bid to boost visitor numbers this summer. Photo: Darkbeach/Flickr

Authorities hope the move will attract more beachgoers.

Berlusconi plots Forza Italia relaunch from hospital bed
Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly hoping to relaunch his political party, Forza Italia. Photo: Alberto Solaro/AFP

Following a near-fatal heart attack and surgery to replace his aortic valve, the 80-year-old mogul shows no sign of slowing down.

Mayor’s war on corruption could bring Rome €1bn a year
Virginia Raggi was elected Rome mayor on Sunday. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Backed by two thirds of voters in Sunday's election, Virginia Raggi now has to deliver on pledges to get buses and trams running on time, clean up rubbish-strewn streets and fill the potholes that pockmark much of the capital.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
jobs available