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Half the Cost of Corruption in Europe Comes from Italy, Except it Doesn’t, Maybe

According to the European Union, the annual cost of corruption to the economies of Europe is around €120 billion. Italy’s Court of Auditors reckons corruption costs Italy’s economy around €60 billion annually.

At first sight, one could perhaps be forgiven for arguing that Italy is responsible for half of all the cost of corruption to Europe and a few Italian dailies wasted no time in doing so.

Wrong! Despite what the figures may suggest, claimed EU internal affairs commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, Italy is not the font of half of the cost of corruption in Europe.

Italy’s Court of Auditors and Europe apparently use different parameters to calculate the cost of corruption. So while Italy reports that the cost of corruption to its economy is estimated to be €60 billion – that figure is not half the EU total, even if, to primary school children everywhere, 60 is generally regarded as being half of 120, or it was until yesterday.

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It sounds as if primary school children, as well as mathematicians the world over, really need to take a close look at their parameters. Hmm 😉

What Are the Problematic Parameters?

Italy thinks corruption costs its economy around 4%-6% of its GDP. Europe, on the other hand, believes the cost of graft amounts to around 1% of Europe’s economic output. Maybe EDP – European Domestic Product – is calculated differently from Italy’s Gross Domestic Product? Probably another case of pesky parameters.

Parameters aside, the EU did comment that Italy really ought to start thinking about doing a little more to crack down on corruption. Italy’s government has yet to reply, but will, one is certain, once the briefcases have arrived in the Cayman Islands 😉

To be honest, calculating the cost of corruption cannot be easy, regardless of ‘parameters’.

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