World Economy

Crime Has Cost Italy $20b

Crime Has Cost Italy $20bCrime Has Cost Italy $20b

Crime is putting investors off Italy, costing the economy an estimated $20 billion (€16 billion) in foreign investment over the past eight years, the governor of the Bank of Italy said on Friday, The Local news website reported.

Ignazio Visco told a conference in Milan that crime “has a negative effect on investments in general, especially from abroad.”

He called on the government to rapidly adopt a new anti-money laundering law as well as create conditions that will prompt a return to growth.

“Respect for the law in the financial sector is a prerequisite for a sound and prudent management of financial institutions,” Visco said.

Italy was listed as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe in Transparency Interantional Corruption Perception Index for 2013, published last December.

The eurozone’s third-largest economy came 69th in the list of 177 countries.

The eurozone’s third largest economy is, however, on the up with 43 points out of a possible best score of 100, compared to 42 last year.

Italy came joint place with Romania and was perceived as less corrupt than the EU’s worst offenders: Bulgaria at 77 and 80th-place Greece.

Economic powerhouse Germany received a relatively clean bill of health, coming in 12th place, while France came 22nd in the ranking and Spain a less-impressive 40th.