Italy’s mafia crime syndicates bucked the recession in 2009 to raise ‘profits’ by almost 8 percent with the financial crisis making companies and even the stock market even more vulnerable to cash-flush mobsters.
“Mafia Inc. is reinforcing its position as the number one Italian company,” said a report published on Wednesday by a body whose members bear the brunt of mafia extortion and crimes, the small business and shopkeepers’ association Confesercenti.
It estimated that the impact on business equaled about 7 percent of Italy’s economic output, enjoying healthy growth in a year when the Italian economy shrank by almost 5 percent.
Experts had predicted when the crisis began that Calabria’s ‘Ndrangheta, with its huge slice of the global drugs trade, Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, Naples’ violent Camorra and Puglia’s Sacra Corona Unita would see more demand for loan-sharking.
But the report said mobsters had also been able to launder their earnings by buying up cheap assets and had found a cheap and willing workforce among the newly unemployed…