Justice minister says anti-corruption law must move ahead

Italy as troubled as 20 years ago, says Severino

Justice minister says anti-corruption law must move ahead

(ANSA) - Rome, October 15 - Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino said that the government must push ahead to approve a proposed anti-corruption law currently stalled in parliament by the end of the month in order to "prevent candidates with a criminal record from entering office" during upcoming elections. Speaking on Sky Tg24 news Sunday evening, Severino said that corruption in Italy is as bad as it was 20 years ago, referring to the Tangentopoli (Bribesville) scandal that toppled Italy's old political guard in the early 1990s. The measures would prevent those from entering government who could "bring a virus that could spread," Severino said. Former Milan chief prosecutor Gerardo D'Ambrosio who was a major figure in Tangentopoli and Clean Hands trials said Monday in an interview with the La Stampa daily that if passed, the law "may not be the best, but at least it will start to change something". "This is the first time a government has tried to seriously strike down one of the saddest phenomenons in our country," D'Ambrosio said about the anti-graft law proposal. Severino is part of Premier Mario Monti's non-elected government appointed in November 2011 to replace outgoing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi amid a peak in the euro crisis. Italy has been hit by a wave of regional corruption scandals including Sicily, Molise, Calabria, Campania, Lazio - where the governor was forced to quit - and Lombardy where Governor Roberto Formigoni is under pressure to resign.

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