Italy: Govt corruption costing €60 billion a year

Rome, 26 June (AKI) - Italy's state accountancy court says government corruption is costing the country up to 60 billion euros a year.

"The phenomenon of corruption in the administration of government is considerable and has serious consequences in this time of (economic) crisis ... on the country's economic development," said the court's chief prosecutor Furio Pasqualucci as he presented his office's annual report on Thursday.

He said of the top five Italian regions in a ranking of graft probes in 2008, four were in the south of the country.

Sicily accounted for 13 percent of the total, followed by the Campania region with 11.4 percent, Puglia with 9.4 percent and southern the region of Calabria with 8.19 percent.

However, the northern region of Lombardy ranked between Puglia and Calabria with 9.39 percent.

However, Pasqualucci said crimes and convictions for corruptions had risen in Italy.

A leading international research organisation said in its latest report entitled Global Corruption Barometer 2009 recently said that the single institution or sector perceived to be the most affected by corruption in Italy were political parties.

Transparency International also said in a corruption report that Italy had become more corrupt in 2008 compared to the previous year.

Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index says Italy's corruption worsened in 2008 because of several corruption cases, particularly in the government health sector.

The country's score - ranked from zero to ten - fell from 5.2 to 4.8 in 2008.

Ottaviano Del Turco, the centre-left governor of the central region of Abruzzo and former finance minister, was arrested in July 2008.


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