Corrado Clini is a former minister for the environment who, along with his romantic partner Martina Hauser, has been investigated for misappropriating public funds and is facing charges of corruption.
While acting as Italy’s environment minister, the roguish Mr Clini allegedly came up with a number of devious plans to permit him to divert public funds into his own private bank accounts.
One of his little tricks involved setting up a project overseas, allocating €50 million in funds and then apparently creaming a few millions off the top. Allegedly, Ms Hauser also played a key role in the fraud. A web of shell companies were allegedly used in an attempt to hide from prying eyes that Mr Clini was putting the cash into bank accounts he controlled, either directly or indirectly.
In addition to the supposed illicit appropriation of funds, Mr Clini has been involved in other dodgy dealings so who knows just how much of Italy’s money he’s managed to spirit away.
For now, Clini denies any wrongdoing.
Very much a man of Italy’s institutions, Corrado Clini has been active in politics in Italy for decades. One wonders just how many other Clinis exist in the ethically-challenged world of Italian politics. Lots, probably.
For allegedly ripping off Italy’s taxpayers, Corrado Clini, who is to face trial in March 2015, earns Italy Chronicles’ Italian Rogue of the Week title. It is highly likely that Mr Clini will receive a very light sentence – if, indeed, he is eventually found guilty – and after serving tea to the elderly or something similar as a punishment, he’ll be back within Italy’s political system. And back to corruption and fraud as usual?
Until Italy removes people like Clini from its institutions, Italy is going to keep going nowhere. The problem is, nobody will admit that one of Italy’s biggest problems is that the corrupt appoint the corrupt and make laws to protect the corrupt too. The corruption goes merrily on as Italy slides not so merrily downhill. What a crazy nation.