Magazine article The World Today

Fighting the Mafia

Magazine article The World Today

Fighting the Mafia

Article excerpt

In January anti-mafia police arrested 170 people as part of a crackdown on fraud and extortion rackets extending from southern Italy to Germany. The criminal organization involved was the 'Ndrangheta, the secretive Calabrian mob which has risen to become one of the world's richest mafias, with tentacles stretching over five continents.

As Helen Fitzwilliam reports in our cover story, an Italian judge has found a weak link in the impenetrable ranks of the 'Ndrangheta - the women and girls who refuse to put up with the medieval oppression they suffer at the hands of the clan godfathers. The big question is, can the Italian state contain the clans before they turn their cash piles into legitimate businesses and consolidate their influence?

Elsewhere in Europe we have two contrasting stories. The state of Kosovo, 10 years old in February, is by any standard a failed project of the European Union. …

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