Italy made a fresh attempt at tackling rampant corruption on Thursday when the Chamber of Deputies approved a strongly contested law stiffening penalties for various types of graft and balance sheet fraud.
Corruption has long undermined Italy’s chronically stagnant economy by deterring foreign investors and pushing up costs. A previous “anti-corruption” package in 2012 proved to have little impact.
The last year has seen high-profile arrests of politicians and businessmen over graft allegations connected with the 2015 Expo in Milan, a 5 billion euro Venice flood barrier, and public contracts awarded by the city of Rome.
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