FEATURES » Corruption in Italy - some statistics

Corruption in Italy - some statistics

According to the Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino corruption in Italy is as bad as it was 20 years ago, when the “Tangentopoli” (Bribesville) scandal broke out in the early 1990s.

A few days ago “Libera”, “Legambiente” e “Avviso pubblico” made public their report on corruption, “Corruzione, le cifre della tassa occulta che impoverisce ed inquina il paese” which also takes into account the most recent data of Eurobarometer 2011.

According to the report 12% of Italians have been asked to pay a tangent in the last year. The results exceed by 4% the European average which is 8%.

The World Bank reckons that every year in the world 1000 billion dollars are paid in bribes and about the 3% of the world’s PIL goes wasted because of corruption.  

If we apply this percentage to Italy we find that every year 50 to 60 billion Euros go wasted because of corruption as if it was an unspoken tax paid by Italian citizens.  

Particularly alarming is what “Libera”, “Legambiente” and “AvvisoPubblico” call “corruzione ambientale”, “environmental corruption”.

From January 2010 to today there have been 78 inquiries about corruption related to activities with a strong environmental impact. 

Illegal activities such as illegal waste trafficking or illegal building, perhaps covered with the release of illegal concessions, are accompanied by a systematic bribery of public officials, politicians and officials responsible for issuing permits or checking activities.

The numbers speak for themselves: from 1st of January 2010 to the 30th of September 2012 there have been 78 investigations related to incidents of corruption concerning activities with a strong environmental impact.

The surveys analyzed concerned the illegal waste cycle (from the illegal traffic of waste to the concession of contracts for the gathering and distribution of waste and the reclaiming of land which has been contaminated); the illegal cement cycle (from the division into lots to the licence to build, to the public contracts given without a legal competition) and also the authorization of wind power systems and photovoltaic plants.

Environmental corruption with all its consequences on the natural heritage concerns the whole the Country.

From January 2010 to today there have been 78 enquiries by the public prosecutors on environmental corruption. 1.109 people have been arrested. 224 people in Calabria; 210 in Piedmont; 209 in Lombardy; 154 in Tuscany and 130 in Campania.  

Giulia Lombardo

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