Flash back, April 29, 1993, Montecitorio. Chamber of Deputies. “May the Honorable Bettino Craxi speak. Please.”. The silence descended on the dumb and deaf semi cycle, not the silence of the lambs but that of the accomplices. “I’ve had enough with this hypocrisy! All the parties – the former socialist leader who died in exile shouted – used bribes to finance themselves, even these moralists here”. His line of defense was focused on the argument that the illicit funds were needed by the political parties and their organizations for the maintenance of facilities and for the implementation of various initiatives. His party seemed not to be unrelated to this general behavior and, therefore, rather than declaring himself innocent, Craxi maintained that he was guilty no more and no less than any other. The story, the one with a capital S, has not yet determined who is wrong and who is right.
2 July 2015. Montecitorio, Sala della Lupa in the Chamber of Deputies. The president of the Anti-Corruption, Raffaele Cantone, submitted to Parliament the report on the activities of the control body he presides at. The silence descended also on this audience, that of the well-aware ones. “The 90% administrations adopted an anti-corruption plan, but the quality of the documents is in many cases insufficient for method, sustainability and effectiveness”, and “several critical issues” emerged. The situation described by Cantone is not just worrisome, it is severe. Very severe. Enough to make one think that legalizing corruption, introducing a kind of 10% duty within the tenders and contracts between public and private, could be a solution; made even more robust if next to this Parliament finally decides to legalize the lobby and make the work of lobbyists transparent, recognized and regulated across Europe … The State accounts would benefit from it.
Let me be clear, it is quite obvious that ours is a provocation. The law that abdicates before the malfeasance does not only mean a surrender, but a total defeat of the system that none of us can accept. But it is equally unacceptable a state which is fighting a battle of civilizations with obsolete weapons, while corruption has increasingly refined ones.
But from Bettino Craxi statements to today what has changed? Have the toxins of Tangentopoli been eliminated from politics or are still there? And how much the rules of the game have changed? The answers to these questions can be found in the words of the magistrate loaned to politics. “The latest judiciary investigations have shown that corruption has become a systemic phenomenon, which dwells especially in public tenders but which also in other areas of the administration.”
In short, if it is not 100%, it is close enough. And this is the element that makes the overall picture very dramatic. Because we are no longer in front of the bribe, the classical bribe, but in front of a sophisticated system that travels in parallel with the work. Politics. Breaking this chain is a moral duty, as well as a civil commitment.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo