Statement issued by President Mattarella on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day.
The President of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, issued the following statement on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day:
Destroying corruption, breaking the chains of complicity, freeing social life from this cancer is possible. Corruption, complicity and illegality are not innate characteristics of our society. We must be active in this field and set ourselves ambitious goals in terms of public morality and civic sense. International Anti-Corruption Day, proclaimed by the United Nations to promote awareness-raising in all countries on such a crucial theme, highlights that this is an evil that we must all fight together.
Active citizenship must accompany the actions of international organisations, public institutions and social bodies. There is a personal dimension to championing legality that must be expressed, taught and urged through coherent behaviour. We must strengthen the role of education, starting from families, schools and intermediary bodies. That is how democracy grows and becomes stronger.
Corruption is in fact a theft of democracy. It creates distrust, poisons institutions, alters all principles of fairness, penalises the economy, distances investors and prevents the promotion of talent.
The opacity and flawed functioning of public and legal systems hits the poor and vulnerable hardest, creates discrimination, exclusion and waste, and destroys work opportunities. Criminal organisations and the mafia flourish through corruption; they stifle young people's hopes.
We can and must react to this unacceptable form of oppression.
Defeating the mafia is an achievable goal.
There are many antibodies present in civil society: they bear the face of citizens who are aware of their responsibilities, men and women who know their rights and duties, civil servants who fulfil their tasks, volunteers who build networks of solidarity and social inclusion.
Every day, our institutions, our Judiciary and our police force show that their antibodies are active and that they are providing a valuable service to the community. When control, assessment and sanctioning mechanisms work, it does not mean that scandal has prevailed. Rather, it means the opposite: that the cancer of criminality has been identified and struck down.
The fight against corruption, particularly in its international dimension, also contributes significantly to the cause of peace and cooperation among peoples.