Sadly, the European Commission and the central Italian government continue to support many so-called "development" projects in Sicily, few of which result in little more than untaxed wealth for the projects' managers. Indeed, the phenomenon has spawned an entire industry as politicians and their friends scramble to propose projects with grossly inflated budgets. In the 1980s, a new profession, that of the , was born. The term refers to the "project consultant" who seeks European Commission funds on behalf of a town, association or governmental agency (presumably one lacking personnel competent to know how to manage public money efficiently, as though that were an esoteric art), and then spends these monies, taking a large commission for himself and his cohorts. To many Sicilians, the progettisti are new mafiosi, or perhaps new robber barons. Considering the vast investments involved, the tangible results are precious few, apart from expensive vacation homes for the project administrators themselves. One can only conclude that Sicilian progettisti, Mafia proponents or Sicilian politicians have in some way infiltrated or corrupted elements of the European Commission in Brussels. It's a long way from stealing cattle in the mountains.
Governance and anticorruption takes high precedence within any development agenda. Over the past decade, empirical research has provided evidence to the effect that poor governance, manifested in various kinds of corruption, is a major setback to economic growth and investment and has had a profound impact on the poor. These quantitative findings have been given shape and life by intensive case studies, unearthing the reality that corruption is actually detrimental to the individual, community and the entire society. Public awareness of the harmful effects and the magnitude of the problem has increased globally as concerns have been raised by the media, nongovernmental organizations and policy institutes around the world to levels that were hitherto unperceived.
443 Words Essay on Corruption in India (free to read)
Considering its profound influence on Sicilian life, no history of twentieth-century Sicily can be complete or accurate without mentioning the most famous Sicilian fraternity. Tragically, the Mafia (and extreme political corruption generally) is the single socio-economic factor that distinguishes Sicily's economic base from those of other European Mediterranean regions such as Spain and Portugal - though it appears that Greece also has some serious problems with public spending and corruption. It is one of the world's most enduring criminal organizations, and one of the most serious social problems confronting Sicily today. In recent times, it has murdered judges, priests and children - though with its increasing grip on the legal economy (public contracts, stores, restaurants) - this rarely happens nowadays. Its hierarchy and vernacular are a reflection of Sicilian society itself, complete with religious allusions: Its ruling council is the "Cupola," Michele Greco, was nicknamed "The Pope," a leader of "clans." But, like the , the Mafia is all but invisible. You probably won't see it if you visit Sicily. You probably won't see many of its effects, either, unless you look very closely. Those who presume that today's Sicilians do not think about the Mafia are sorely mistaken. Anti-Mafia organisations such as (of which is a member) have done much to encourage merchants and other business owners to stand up against the Mafia, but there is still much work to be done.
Democracy and Political Corruption - Essay Example
There are key areas where corruption typically occurs regardless of the level of political, social and economic advancement of a country. Generally, corruption occurs where the public and the private sectors intersect, most notably in situations that involve direct responsibility for service provision or application of particular levies or regulations. Among these are the public procurement and contracting, collection of revenue, licensing and land rezoning. Tax and revenue collection systems are especially vulnerable to corruption. Corruption is also involved in the public appointments. In some instances, politicians who are corrupt sell favors to interested individuals regardless of whether it has a negative impact on the pubic good or not. Politicians may also use their positions to take bribes from companies (Norris, 1999).
Democracy and Political Corruption - Essay Sample
The two main types of corruption exhibited by states are political and bureaucratic corruption. Even though these types of corruption are different, they both become entrenched when they are monopolistic, organized and perversive. When these three characteristics are combined, their effects may be damaging to a country. The system that exists in the United States cannot facilitate neither political corruption nor bureaucratic corruption. Again, the general system that exists in Iceland and Finland cannot facilitate corruption. In many corrupt countries, corruption has been institutionalized and is in most cases organized. There is much internal coordination in organized corruption and a general vertical exchange of benefits (Stapenhurst et al 1999). Organized corruption facilitates an internal economy which links principals and agents. The role of the principals is to make major decisions and provide protection while at the same time controlling the agents’ discretions and powers.