This week, after one of Europe’s biggest ever fraud trials was launched in Italy, we ask whether the authorities there are dragging their feet over the kind of root-and-branch reform which America has carried out to clean up its corporate life.
Two years ago Parmalat, the Italian dairy giant collapsed in the throes of a sixteen billion dollar accounting scandal. Tens of thousands of investors were left with losses.
In court this week, was Calisto Tanzi, the founder and former chief executive of Parmalat who is accused along with 15 others of various charges of market-rigging, false accounting and selling bonds to investors when allegedly they knew the company was insolvent.
Over in the US, swift action was taken only months after the huge frauds at Enron and WorldCom to bring in tough new laws on accounting and corporate governance. But similar reforms have not been forthcoming in Europe in the wake of the Parmalat scandal.
Joining Lesley Curwen to discuss this is from Milan, Carlo Scarpa, economics professor specialising in competition policy at Bocconi University; from Hartford Connecticut, Evan Flaschen, international insolvency lawyer at Bingham McCutchen who represents many Parmalat bond holders; and from Rome, Benedetto della Vedova, a former Italian MEP for the Radical Party and now business columnist for the Corriere della Sera. (Clicca QUI per riascoltare la trasmissione)