Rome: Italian ministers Tuesday posted their salaries and assets online in an effort to boost transparency amid a crackdown on tax evasion.
The unelected government led by Prime Minister Mario Monti took over the reins of power in November after scandal and a financial crisis toppled Silvio Berlusconi`s conservative government.
While Berlusconi was criticized for encouraging tax evasion by granting amnesties to transgressors who were required to pay only a nominal portion of the reported funds in taxes, Monti has unleashed the finance police with no promise of leniency.
Italy`s tax police have identified 7,500 Italians who last year hid around 50 billion euros in taxable income, according to the country`s tax police, the Guardia di Finanza Italy, while the European Union`s fourth-richest country loses more than 120 billion euros in unpaid taxes every year, according to a tax collection agency.
According to data posted online in Operation Transparency, lawyer and Justice Minister Paola Severino was the Italian government`s top earner for 2010, with around 7 million euros in taxable income declared last year, of which she paid more than 4 million in taxes.
Before resigning as chief executive officer of Italy`s second-biggest bank Intesa SanPaolo to take on the job of industry minister, Corrado Passera made 3.5 million euros and paid the state 1.4 million euros in taxes, according to the data.
Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant`Agata in 2011 reported around 240,000 euros in earnings for the prior year and he owns a Harley Davidson 883, according to the information posted on the foreign ministry web site.