Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mafia is now Italy's 'biggest bank' - and they're squeezing the life out of small business (quite literally)

Image: Intimidation and murder: Mariano Bacioterracino was shot dead in 2009, a classic Mafia-style public 'hit' intended to spread fear and keep control

Organised crime is the biggest earner in Italy - with a turnover of more £100 billion a year - according to a report by business chiefs.

Extortion and intimidation is used to extract millions from shopkeepers, restaurants, cinemas, construction companies and thousands of other businesses as the godfathers spread their criminal enterprises across the whole of the country.

As a result of the ongoing economic crisis the Mafia is also cashing in with its traditional money-raising means of loan sharking - charging extortionate interest rates to hard-pressed businesses who are unable to raise funds.

According to a report titled Criminality's Grip On Business, the various Mafia groups across Italy make a profit of around £116 billion a year - a figure equivalent to seven per cent of the country's GDP.

It is a massive amount of money leaving the economy and passing from businesses straight into the pockets of gangsters.

The report said that 'every minute' a business or commercial activity was directly affected by organised crime - with no part of the country escaping, and with a surge of activity in the capital Rome. Read More