The 2015 World Expo in Milan is supposed to showcase Italy’s wonderful products to the world. At present, it risks highlighting Italy’s huge corruption problems. Today, 7 people have been arrested in connection with the assignment of Expo building works contracts.
Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano is wondering whether the arrests herald the arrival of a sequel to Italy’s infamous Tangentopoli, Bribesville, scandal of the early 1990s. As is often the case in Italy, politicians are caught up in the corruption. The name of one Silvio Berlusconi has come up in intercepted telephone conversations, though Italy’s ex-prime minister is not under investigation.
Some of those arrested today are politicians who were caught up in Italy’s 1990s Tangentopoli scandal. Of these politicians, an number had convictions for corruption-related offenses.
Via Twitter, the man who led investigations into the original Tangentopoli scandal, Antonio di Pietro commented that Italy needed a new “mani pulite” – clean hands – investigation.
The original ‘clean hands’ investigations uncovered a vast web of political corruption, the revelations of which rocked Italy to its core. However, the investigations were never brought to a conclusion and Tangentopoli period politicians are still active in politics in Italy today, as is evidenced by today’s arrests.
Italy’s judiciary has stated that, if anything, in post Tangentopoli Italy, levels of corruption have increased. Now, it looks as if Italy’s flagship Milan Expo 2015 event may be at risk.
History Repeats Itself?
As a matter of interest, the last time Milan got to host an Expo, way back in 1906, the event kicked off a year later than originally scheduled. Guess what? Incomplete construction works caused the delay. Will Milan’s 2015 Expo end up being moved to 2016?
Italy never seems to change, nor learn. Very sad.