In 1993 it was reported that Italy had more people on state pensions than in employment. There the government favours its civil servants (often recruited through political patronage and family ties) who until 1992 were able to retire at 35 but were permitted during their working life to take a second job which might also give rise to a pension. The report showed remarkable concentrations of invalidity pensions in areas where the major political party operated. Politicians enabled constituents to get false benefits and other favours in exchange for votes.
One estimate was that 60% of the 1.14 million official invalids (excluding disabled war veterans and victims of work accidents) were phoney. In one village of 1,200 adults, 500 were officially invalids, including the centre forward of the local football team (a certified cripple) and a local car-racing landowner (certified blind). One in four inhabitants were supposedly in need of additional grants to pay for a career apart from their own benefits. Many living elsewhere were officially domiciled there, an unusual number of them at the addresses of the mayor, the doctor and the head of the local health service.