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Back Sei qui: Home English news Confiscated riches left to molder by the mafia-State

English news

Confiscated riches left to molder by the mafia-State

Confiscated riches left to molder
by the mafia-State


By Giorgio Bongiovanni - February 24th 2015
Between frozen cash and disused real estate a legislative reform appears urgent
A treasure worth more than 30 million euros is the estimate that quantifies assets taken from the hands of the mafia between money, real estate and businesses. Of this 10% is cash, money and stocks. Capital that is never used, that grows constantly. A report drafted by the Commission responsible for processing legislative proposals with regard to the fight against criminality, whose president is Judge Nicola Gratteri of the Public Prosecutors’ office of Reggio Calabria, states how: “in Italy 2-3 million euros are waiting for a final destination of use”.

Not only does one feel disappointment after reading the chapter dedicated to confiscation, in the reform plan presented by Judge Gratteri, one also feels anger. Although the numbers have been out for some time, there is now definite proof of the complete apathy, by part or the Italian State, to defeat Cosa nostra and all other criminal organizations. Exception made for a few politicians, a few magistrates, a few journalists, a few religious authorities, a few members of the police force, a few exponents of civil society and behold even children whom have become martyrs, overthrown by mafia criminality, everyone else has decided to "wash their hands", or worse, compromise. Today only a handful of magistrates with a reduced police force and a fair portion of civil society resist. We can serenely assert, because  sufficiently proven by data, numbers, statistics, and by a pragmatic vision of reality that the State does not want to eliminate mafia, actually it does its’ best to keep it alive even though every necessary tool is available to deplete it.

“It is necessary to split the existing bond between possessions and mafia groups, in order to impair their economic power, and trace the line between legal and illegal economy”. These words belong to Pio La Torre, the same man who proposed to confiscate money and properties from the mafia along with Christian democrat Virginio Rognoni. The proposal became law on September 13th 1982, four months after his assassination. What is left of these words today? What purpose do those 30 million confiscated (therefore property of the State) euros serve, when they are left to collect dust to the point of becoming useless? We are tired of the numbers that minister of the Interior Angelino Alfano, the same man who promised to provide a life saving device known as bomb jammer to Judge Nino Di Matteo over a year ago only to leave him waiting, pins on his chest like a medal. During the presentation of the national security report last August the minister reminded us of the 2.500 assets that were seized and of  the 414 that were confiscated, for a total value of more than one million euros. However he did not speak of the difficulties of a flawed system that not only increases the strength of organized crime but also contributes to worsen the condition of the economic crisis the Country is in. How many times has the Agency of confiscated and seized assets failed to reappoint resources during the final phase of the procedure? How many times do properties remain empty or continue to be occupied by the families of incarcerated bosses? How many times do plots of land lie abandoned when they could be used by young people to form co-ops and thus diminish the rate of unemployment and poverty amongst families? How many times do companies who prospered and grew with money that came from bosses find themselves on the brink of closure when the State takes over business by appointing unprepared judiciary administrators?

The answer to all of these questions is too many times. Why? We often discuss the mafia - State versus the State - State and when we observe this type of paralysis it becomes obvious that  it is the first out of the two to occupy the vertex of our “sacred” institutions today.

It would be nice to see our Parliament representatives, the honest ones, slam their fists on the table and be heard in the face of such judicial “blasphemy”. It would be beneficial to hear the President of the Senate Pietro Grasso say something and severely beseech incompetent and mafiosi state officers who do nothing to reassign these precious belongings confiscated from the mafia. He should make himself heard in order to be able to use the seized assets. The money stored away by the State could be helpful to police forces who investigate and work in the midst of a thousand problems. It could help the families of the victims of mafia, whom have been waiting for State contributions for years (Fund 512 solidarity to victims of crime related to mafia), and are forced to witness this “joke”.

We don’t know if the competent proposals made by Gratteri, vassal of the State-State and not of the mafia-State will be accepted by our Government. We fear he may only receive a hypocritical smile, similar to the ones don Luigi Ciotti often saw after having asked for a legislative reform on Confiscated Assets for years. This is why we wish to invite all citizens to protest and raise their voices through a strong and real campaign for confiscated assets. As the President of Libera often says we need more efficient laws and new tools. Many of these confiscated assets could translate into dignity, freedom and employment. All of this was also written in the treaty between the mafia and the State. We cannot forget; the points made by Riina in the “papello” also include a revision of the Rognoni-La Torre law and a ban to be able to apply prevention measures and confiscation of assets belonging to the members of mafia families. The list of requests made by Cosa nostra also contained a law reform with regards to informers. Another point that was scored thanks to a slow but constant campaign against informers whom are left in misery, abandoned to themselves. A steady stream that centered its target to the point that today, apart from a few rare and miraculous exceptions (see Vito Galatolo and very few others), nobody repents. So now, it’s showdown. In the face of a Government who shamefully negotiates with the mafia on a daily basis as proven by that Nazareno pact that saw premier Renzi discuss reforms for the well-being of our Country with Silvio Berlusconi, head of a party which was conceived and built by Marcello Dell’Utri (sentenced by a court of law for mafia crimes) one cannot remain passive. Resignations from the premier, resignations from the pseudo minister of the Interior as well as the minister of Justice. The entire team that composes the Government should go home. They should all resign and the Country should go to new elections, in the hope that the Italian people "sheep" wake up and react against the thieves of the mafia-State whom are comfortably seated in our institutions.

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