Friday, June 24, 2011
A Letter from Sicily
Even bloggers need a break once in a while. My wife and I are in Sicily in her native city of Marsala. Turquoise waters, delicious cuisines and magnificent sites.
Of course, we have visited her 100+ relatives and are attending a beautiful wedding tomorrow.
The Italian economy has been hit hard by the war in Libya, reducing trade and international access to markets. Unfortunately, the media does not cover this too much.
Italy has been in the forefront of anti-corruption efforts ever since joining the EU. There are still serious obstacles to enforcement but Italy has turned the corner.
In Italy, one in ten criminal proceedings is dismissed during the prosecution phase because the statutes of limitations expire. Italy still needs to adopt codes of conduct and measures to prevent conflict of interest for members of the government and parliament. Italy's supreme court has rejected previous special immunities for politicians.
In a symbolic act almost 95 per cent of the voters (around 57 percent of all Italian voters) opted to abolish immunities for politicians and leaders. The referendum shows that Italians have begun to assume responsibility for fighting corruption in their country; a continuing sign of commitment by the Italian people.