Italy has long struggled for a stable economy in light of the corrupt behavior that has gripped the country over the years.
The Business Times reports that an anti-corruption package, which was rolled out in 2012 has had little impact on the country. In light of recent high-profile cases such as the 2015 Expo in Milan and the Venice flood barrier, which involved politicians and business executives, has led the country’s legislators to take corruption seriously.
Under the new legislation, prison sentences for corrupt actions will be increased from 2 years up to a maximum of 10 years for cases involving bribery or calling for favors to obtain public contracts, the article says. Balance sheet fraud increased from 2 years to a maximum of eight years for public companies and six years for private firms. The bill also makes balance sheet fraud a criminal offence. If the case is seen as “mild,” however, the judge will make the final call on the sentencing.
On the flip side, critics disagree with the new legislation, arguing that higher sanctions will not help cut down on corrupt behavior because of “loopholes in Italy’s snail-paced Justice system,” which makes it difficult for anyone to go to prison for a white-collar crime. In addition, a plea bargain will only be granted if the accused pays back the money collected from their corrupt activity.
The legislation passed by 280 votes to 53 in the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies.