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Italy's public sector corruption reaches all-time high

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The first 10 months of 2015 saw over €4 billion wasted. Photo: Global Panorama/Flickr
10:58 CET+01:00
The sky-high figure, confirmed by Italy's financial police, is a record for a ten month period and shows that in spite of public promises to crack down on corruption, the problem remains rife.

Rigged and inflated contracts, absenteeism, pension scams and unnecessary consultancy were among the most common ways in which public money was frittered away last year, Corriere della Sera reported. 

From January to October, some 3590 people were charged with rigging public contracts.

A further 7000 public workers are currently under investigation by the financial police, with the majority working in the health and pensions sector.

Among the more outrageous cases include a doctor in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, who is thought to have worked just two hours a week for the last five years at a state hospital.

But it was not just isolated individuals costing the country money.

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Staff at the social security offices of Potenza, Basilicata, were found to have forged documents so they could pay out €259 million in welfare payments to citizens living abroad, even though the payments were only reserved for residents of the city.

In a separate report last week, Italy's standing in the global corruption rankings had risen slightly to 61st place. According to the report Italy, is now on par with Senegal, Montenegro and South Africa when it comes to corruption. 

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