Italy protest over 'mafia prison exam rigging'

Protesters outside Italy's justice ministry. Photo: 23 May 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Protesters said the exam results must be scrapped and new prison guards hired

Protests have been held in Rome after it emerged that Italy's mafia may have organised large-scale cheating during an entry exam for prison guards.

Dozens of people rallied outside the justice ministry, saying last month's exam results must be cancelled.

Investigators are examining claims that the Naples-based Camorra may have tried to infiltrate the system.

Officials say 88 people were caught at the exam with bracelets or mobile phone covers with the correct answers.

Some of them wore earpieces through which the answers could have been fed.

The Camorra is also suspected of selling the answers to applicants for as much as €25,000 (£19,110; $27,900).

"Unfortunately, those who deserve jobs often are not the ones who get them," said protester named Mina, who failed the exam in April.

Maurizio, another demonstrator, said: "We're sick of Italy's indifference and code of silence."

Nearly 8,000 people - mostly young Italians - competed for just 400 jobs as prison guards.

Italy has one of highest youth unemployment rates in the European Union, with some 40% without a job.

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