Italy faces the prospect of mafia meddling in the forthcoming legislative elections of March 4, Interior Minister Marco Minniti warned late last week.
“There is a significant risk that the mafias will interfere with the electorate’s ability to cast a free vote,” Minniti told the Italian Daily Corriere della Sera.
He urged voters and local authorities to come forward in the event they have any knowledge of Italy’s powerful organised crime groups’ plans to falsify the upcoming vote. Minniti only made generic references to “the mafia”, but did not specify which of the three main crime syndicates he was referring to – Calabria’s ‘Ndrangheta, Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, or Campania’s Camorra.
According to the Italian statistical authority, the annual turnover of organised crime in Italy for 2015 was estimated to be to the tune of €208 billion or 12.6% of GDP.
The investment of this capital to apparently legal activities – money laundering – has allowed crime syndicates to penetrate big swathes of the economy in Italy, but also Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, Germany, France and the UK, according to a Eurojust report.