Murder in Cairo

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It’s been an interesting week for news in Italy, with stories of corruption, sexism and piety emerging.

But the most tragic story, and one that was widely reported around the world, was the murder of a 28-year-old Italian student in Cairo. His body was found with signs of torture, prompting the Italian government to angrily demand action from Egypt to find his killer.

Stories of corruption are nothing new in Italy, but often you imagine they’re confined mostly to big business or politics.

Instead, a large part of state cash is frittered away by those working for it, whether it be doctors, city hall shirkers or those in charge of government-owned property.

We heard this week that 2015 was a record year for corruption within the public sector, with €4 billion being fleeced from the state’s coffers within just 10 months.

Another particularly shocking example of public sector corruption emerged on Wednesday, when police published a video of a doctor bribing a government official to fudge invalidity claims with wads of cash stuffed inside his packed lunch.

But sometimes it’s not corruption, just plain old incompetence.

A mass eviction from council homes in Rome has now been ordered after it emerged that over 500 properties were being rented for a pittance, mostly because council workers didn’t do their job properly.

Another recurring theme this week was sexism. Firstly, we had the story of a public sector boss who was deemed too ‘immature’ to be found guilty of sexual harassment.

If you think that’s strange, on Thursday came the news that one husband was suing his wife for not doing enough cooking and cleaning.

It wouldn’t be a week of Italian news without an eyebrow-raising religion story. This week’s came on Wednesday when the church moved the remains of Italy’s beloved saint, Padre Pio, 500km to Rome, affording him tighter security than heads of state get.

And in business news, Ryanair announced it was pulling out of two Italian airports over tax hikes, with 600 jobs at risk.

In more positive news, especially for Bruce Springsteen fans, the American rocker has confirmed concerts in Milan and at Rome’s ancient chariot racing ground, Circus Maximus, in July.

 


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