Italy’s real problem isn’t populism. It’s organised crime – Daphne Caruana Galizia


Renzi’s defeat in the Italian referendum has set off a chain reaction of newspaper articles describing how this could endanger the euro and risk a financial crisis, how populism is the result of this or that, how Italy’s serious problems are part of a pan-European scenario or Apocalyspe, and so on and so forth.

And nobody mentions the unmentionable: the Cosa Nostra, the ‘Ndrangheta, the Camorra. Italy is the world capital of organised crime, the country which invented it and exported it to the United States of America in the form of the Mafia. Italy has been held back catastrophically by organised crime and crime bosses. Its problems all stem, ultimately, from that. It is organised crime of the worst sort – not Euro membership – that cripples the Italian economy, Italian society and dominates political life.

Just one basic fact should give you an idea of the scale of the problems in that corrupt, crime-infested country: the ‘Ndrangheta – the Calabrian crime network – controls most of the world trade in cocaine. And this when Italy is not even a cocaine-producing country and is halfway across the world from that region.