Italy sacks Reggio Calabria council over 'mafia ties'

Map of Italy with Reggio Calabria

Related Stories

The entire council of the city of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy has been sacked to stop it from being taken over by the mafia, officials say.

The move came after some councillors were suspected of having ties to the powerful 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate.

Officials said it was the first time that the entire government of a provincial capital had been dismissed over suspected mafia links.

Three commissioners will run the city for 18 months until the next elections.

Mayor Demetrio Arena and all 30 city councillors were sacked to prevent any "mafia contagion" in the local government, Interior Minister Annamaria Cancellieri said.

Smaller city administrations have been dissolved in the past for similar reasons.

Richest mafia

For many months there had been concerns about the influence the 'Ndrangheta might be exerting over the city council, the BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome reports.

An investigation was launched after one councillor was arrested last year on a charge of being associated with the gangsters, he said.

Experts say the 'Ndrangheta has overtaken the Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia and become one of the world's biggest criminal organisations.

Cocaine is thought to be its biggest source of revenue, along with extortion and money laundering.

Italy's parliamentary anti-mafia commission has described the group as the country's most dangerous - and richest - mafia.

The network has used the migration of poor Calabrians to northern Italy or abroad to export its influence.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a blasphemy charge is a death sentence


  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum


  • Electric chairReturn of 'the chair'

    Five people talk about their roles in Tennessee's execution debate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Canada.Hidden rail trip

    Canada's tiny, two-car shuttle is a train lover's dream with scenic views

Programmes

  • A cargo shipThe Travel Show Watch

    It is not cheap or glamorous - so why are people choosing to travel by cargo ship?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.