Italy’s Political Scandals Rattle Public Trust – NYTimes.com

Kickbacks in a time of austerity aren’t playing well in italy:

The breadth of the corruption now coming to light has astonished even cynical Italians. On Wednesday, the once-powerful governor of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Formigoni, said he would dissolve the regional government on Oct. 25 in a snowballing series of scandals that has already brought down the president of the Lazio Region and led to the dismissal last week of the entire city government of Reggio Calabria to prevent organized crime infiltration.

via Italy’s Political Scandals Rattle Public Trust – NYTimes.com.

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3 thoughts on “Italy’s Political Scandals Rattle Public Trust – NYTimes.com

  1. Even though Italy has resisted calls to request its own bailout from the EU, it’s unclear whether the eurozone will recover quickly enough to ensure bailout funds will not be needed. Italy would have to get its rampant corruption under control before the EU would even consider granting it funds. The parliament is close to passing a new anti-corruption law (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/17/uk-italy-corruption-idUKBRE89G1G720121017), but how long will it need to purge dishonest officials? Or will it even be able to? Conditions in Italy don’t appear as serious as they are in Greece or Spain. But in this global economy, nobody knows what might happen tomorrow. Some argue that the EU is on the brink of collapse. If things do go awry for Italy, it will need to be able to lay legitimate claim on financial assistance from its neighbors. And the only way to ensure consideration is to take a hard stance on corruption. Italians may be angry now, but can you imagine what the response would be if this were happening in Greece? Austerity measures + corruption = potential revolution. Italy is treading on ice here.

  2. Sara Gomez says:

    I was not aware of some of the scandals that Italy is facing in terms of corruption. According to the IMF’s economic data Italian corruption would be the world’s 76th largest economy at 78.7 billion, if it was its own country. Italian public debt is 120% of GDP, which is the highest in the world. In addition, Italian corruption losses are larger than the national economy of Serbia. This stats are alarming and I wonder if corruption was one the factors that lead to a great downturn during the crisis. It would be also really interesting to know how Italy managed to have such a large debt despite the different rules that EU implements, which include a minimum of 3% of debt. Now that corruption scandals are for everyone to see, what would be the procedures that the government would take to decrease the corruption at the eyes of the population.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/10/18/if-italian-corruption-were-its-own-country-it-would-be-the-worlds-76th-largest-economy/

  3. It’s really quite appalling that this is going on in a country as modernized as Italy. I found the comment that “a snowballing series of scandals that has already brought down the president of the Lazio Region and led to the dismissal last week of the entire city government of Reggio Calabria to prevent organized crime infiltration” was particularly frustrating. It seems to me that if government is going to work, local governments need to be being honest with their constituents.

    On top of all of this, this episode is not only disastrous for Italy, but potentially even more dangerous for the rest of the EU. At a time when money is in short supply as it is, how is a country supposed to heal itself when its officials are using public funds for unnecessary, irrelevant expenditures.

    But above all else, I find it ironic that Monti has now decided the time is right to “[commend] his ministers’ preparation of an anti-corruption draft law.” Shouldn’t this have happened 70 years ago?

    http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2269980&language=en

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