Commentary: A "Clean Hands" Campaign For France?

Back in February, 1992, when an Italian Socialist Party bureaucrat was busted for taking a $3,600 bribe, no one suspected that within two years an entire generation of Italian politicians would be swept away in the turmoil of the Clean Hands anticorruption investigations. As it turned out, what began in Italy was an opening salvo in a much broader move to clean up government in post-cold war Europe. In 1996, Felipe Gonzalez and the Spanish Socialists were washed away in a torrent of sleaze. By 1999, Germany's Helmut Kohl and his Christian Democratic Union would be hobbled by revelations of illegal financing practices.

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