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BOLOGNA

Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing
A view of Bologna Central station following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari. Photo by AFP

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.

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CRIME

Italy rated among Europe’s most corrupt countries – again

Despite improvements, Italy is still seen as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe according to the annual index by Transparency International.

Italy rated among Europe's most corrupt countries - again
Rome city councillors hold banners reading "Honesty, Transparancy, Conspiracy of silence" as they protest alleged corruption in 2016. Photo: AFP

Global anti-corruption agency Transparency International has ranked Italy among the worst in Europe once again in its annual analysis of the perceived level of corruption in the public sector by country.

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries worldwide from 0 to 100 with a higher number representing a better ranking.

Italy was given 56 points, the same as last year and still one of the lowest scores in Europe along with Georgia and Slovenia, which also scored 56.

This score puts Italy 41st out of 180 countries and well behind neighbouring France in 21st place, while Spain was ranked 35th.

Ranked worst among all European Union member states was Hungary, in 77th place with a score of 42.

Denmark held the desirable position of world’s least corrupt country, followed by Finland, New Zealand, Norway and Singapore.

Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland completed the top 10.

More than two-thirds of countries (68 per cent) scored below 50 and the average global score remained unchanged at 43. 

Though Italy has long been perceived as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, the annual study has shown slight improvements in the country’s score over the past decade – until this year.

“All in all, the CPI shows that corruption levels have stagnated or worsened in 86 per cent of countries over the last decade,” said Transparency International.

With an average score of 66 out of 100, Western Europe and the EU still tops the CPI but progress in recent years has plateaued, the report stated.

Countries with well-protected civil liberties generally score higher on the CPI, while countries which violate civil liberties tend to score lower, Transparency International writes.

But even at the top end of the index, countries are failing to improve their records on public sector corruption, according to the report.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is the most widely-used global corruption ranking in the world and measures how corrupt experts and businesspeople perceive each country’s public sector to be, based on a minimum of three data sources drawn from institutions including the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.

It does not relate to corruption in the private sector, including money laundering and tax fraud.

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