Sky is airing in Italy “1992”, a TV series loosely based on the Clean Hands scandal which killed the First Italian Republic in the Nineties.
Just like in a thriller, everything started from a single case, the arrest of a Socialist Party official in Milan on 17 February 1992. From there the investigators covered a massive network of corruption reaching the highest levels of the State. An entire ruling class was wiped out. Politicians and entrepreneurs were arrested or committed suicide. The Milan District Attorney’s Office and its Corruption Squad achieved a fame that is still lasting. The parties which had written the history of Italy since the end of World War II – the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Christian Democratic party – disappeared almost overnight. Former Prime Minister Bettino Craxi, the man who had sent the Italian military to confront the US Special Forces in their base in Sigonella, Sicily, died in exile in Tunisia to avoid arrest.
The Clean Hands scandals was a veritable revolution and, like so many revolutions, it did not have a happy ending. The dissolution of the Christian Democratic party paved the way for the rise to power of Silvio Berlusconi, a former protege of Mr Craxi. Above all, corruption in Italy is still rampant, as highlighted by a recent report of the Tax Police.