Italian Senate postal chief arrested for cocaine trafficking

Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:02pm GMT
 

ROME (Reuters) - The head of the postal service in the Italian Senate was arrested on Tuesday for trafficking cocaine, police said, in the latest episode to undermine public faith in the country's political institutions.

Orlando Ranaldi, 53, was accused of being part of a gang of 10 Italians and Albanians who ran a cocaine ring operating in southern Rome.

"I only hope that he didn't push inside the Senate," said Senator Felice Belisario of the Italy of Values party.

The president of the regional government of Lazio resigned on Monday over a scandal involving embezzlement of party funds and members of the Campania and Lombardy governments are also under investigation for misuse of public money.

"Every day is worse than the last, tell me something absurd and tomorrow it's bound to happen," said Giuseppe Menardi, a senator from the National Cohesion party.

Most ordinary Italians, battered by austerity measures to rein in the country's massive publc debt, have become inured to scandal.

"In Italy we've reached the point of not caring any more, we don't even know who we can vote for," said Ettore, a 40-year-old Rome taxi driver.

(Reporting by Roberto Landucci and Naomi O'Leary, writing by Gavin Jones; Editing by Stephen Powell)

 
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