Preparatory works for Milan’s 2015 Expo are mired in a growing corruption scandal which risks bringing all Expo construction to a complete and total halt. This situation has become so bad, some are wondering whether the Expo event should be cancelled. It’s not as if Expo building works are at an advanced stage, anyway, far from it.
The man charged by Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with keeping further corruption at bay, Italian magistrate, Raffaele Cantone, in an interview published in Italy’s Mattino daily, stated that cancelling Milan’s Expo would be the same as Italy giving in to illegality. Even so, the idea of shutting down the event is openly being mooted, though doing so would be a major embarrassment for Italy. The risk, however, remains.
What could happen, and is a real danger, is that the site in Milan where most of the Expo works are taking place may be sequestrated by investigators. This would effectively halt all building works and could seriously jeopardize the event which is due to start on May 1st 2015.
Corruption alarm bells have been ringing constantly with regard to Milan’s 2015 Expo, though Italy has not paid them much heed – hence the scandal which has now erupted and which is far from reaching a conclusion. The corrupt also know full well that the event, which may attract as many as 20 million visitors to Milan, is far too big to be allowed to fail.
In Italy, public works almost inevitably attract corruption in the same way as excrement attracts flies. This is nothing new, yet Italy rarely, if ever, attempts to keep the flies at bay.
Italy’s Prime Minister has now waded into the fray. Will he be able to save Milan’s 2015 Expo and Italy’s already egg-covered face? We’ll see. Or will Italy, stupidly, throw away this golden opportunity to show off all it can do? Come on Italy, get your act together!