Venice mayor arrested in probe into five billion euro barrier project

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Thirty-five people, including the mayor of Venice, have been arrested as part of corruption probe into the construction of a five billion euro flood barrier in the city.

Mayor Giorgio Orsoni is suspected of taking kick-backs in relation to the project.

Meanwhile, a judge has also issued a warrant for Giancarlo Galan, twice a government minister for Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party and a former governor of the Veneto region.

The alleged corruption relates to the Moses project, which aims to prevent Italy’s famous canal city from sinking into the lagoon it is built on.

Initially conceived in 1966, the project has been beset with wranglings over its design and environmental impact.

Italy ranks 69 out of 177 countries in Transparency International’s corruption index, below most European countries.