Members of the G20 on Wednesday decided that Italy, along with Australia, should take over the presidency of the anti-corruption working group.
It is the first time Italy has taken over the presidency of such a group, the government said.
The decision will likely come as a surprise to many, particularly as a recent report found that a tenth of contracts awarded for public sector work in Italy are corrupt. This makes Italy three times more corrupt than France and 10 times more than the Netherlands.
Yesterday Silvio Berlusconi, the three-time former prime minister, was himself indicted for corruption. The billionaire stands accused of bribing a senator to the tune of €3 million.
Similar allegations have marred political circles in other parts of Italy. Just this week a Milan council was dissolved over its alleged links to the mafia.
Italy is not, however, the most corrupt of the G20 countries. The country ranks 72nd on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, far ahead of Russia's 133rd place.