Mafia, Other Criminal Groups, Blamed For Sluggish Italian Economy

Here, they talk about the death of Cosa Nostra, but overseas they are blaming Italy's criminal organizations -- primarily the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta --  for wreaking major havoc on the entire peninsula's economy.

"The mafia is one of the biggest reasons for the sluggish growth of the European Union's fourth largest economy, Italian central bank governor Mario Draghi said on Friday," as reported by IGN (Italian Global Nation news service).

"Among the most inhibitory mafia infiltration in the structure of productivity, which has increased during the last ten years, at least in how it has spread throughout our national territory," Draghi said during a speech in the northern city of Milan, the centre of Italian business.

Draghi's comments followed an annual report by Italy's national anti-mafia directorate (DNA) this week which said the Calabrian Mafia or 'Ndrangheta was continuing to grow in Italy and abroad thanks to "unlimited" financial resources.

The Italian economy grew just 1.3 percent last year from 2009, when it shrank 5.1 percent amid the worst recession in more than six decades. the article added. Italy’s gross domestic product grew at an average rate of 1.5 percent a year from 1999 to 2007, compared with 2.2 percent for the European Union.

Italian organised crime groups' revenue in 2009 totalled 135 billion euros -- that's $187.5 billion U.S., according to according to the Rome-based anti-mafia organisation SOS Impresa.

The three biggest Italian crime networks, the Sicilian Mafia or Cosa Nostra, the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra, have their roots in the country's south. But authorities say they have invested money from from traditional crimes like extortion and drug trafficking in seemingly legitimate enterprises.

In July thousands of police conducted raids through Milan's Lombardy region and the Calabria region in the south to arrest around 300 suspected members of the 'Ndrangheta.

The 'Ndrangheta is considered Italy's most powerful crime syndicate, whose financial clout has been estimated at more than 3 percent of Italy's gross domestic product (GDP).


  1. Because of my background I tend not to believe government pronouncements of why things are going wrong, especially when they involve its go-to whipping boy, organized crime. Examples are Eric Holder's recent show arrests, officials trying to link American organized crime with terrorists, and justifying numbers arrests by saying it supports the drug business (it's the other way around). Organized crime, either here or in Italy, tends to MAXIMIZE business opportunities by being expeditors, NOT slow the economy, which lies on the shoulders of inept politicians. Sure, governments don't get the money they'd like, but if they were more efficient, mobsters wouldn't be able to take advantage of business conditions.



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