Mafia behind Italy’s anti-immigrant rant

Lega Nord’s increase in popularity in Italy’s southern region is not a sign of frustrated voters, but rather a concern of support being provided by ‘obscure’ circles.

Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini, the creator of a non-existent migration crisis, won his senate seat with the backing of Giuseppe Scopelliti, who is accused of having ties to ‘Ndrangheta, The Guardian confirmed.

Scopelliti was arrested a few weeks after the March elections for falsifying documents while he was mayor.

Scopelliti’s own involvement in politics was a result of “the decisions of the mafia’s business interests,” according to investigators.

Read more: ‘There is no migration crisis, there is a political crisis’

Lega Nord’s popularity in the southern Italian region skyrocketed when compared to the election results of 2013. In Calabria, Puglia, Campania and Sicilia the votes increased to over 5% support across the four regions in both chambers in March elections.

Five years ago, the Lega did not win a seat in the named regions. In the March results, they gained 11 seats between both Chambers.

The party that always blamed the south for all of Italy’s problems managed to infiltrate the southernmost regions of Italy where mafia clans Cosa Nostra, Camorra, Santa Corona Unita and ‘Ndrangheta command the territory.

Lega Nord publically condemned the south, while news reports referred to the Party being assisted by the ‘Ndrangheta to launder their money.

In 2012, the treasurer of Lega Nord, Francesco Belsito, had to resign following various investigations of financial crimes including misuse of State funds and money laundering for the ‘Ndrangheta.

Belsito read his first degree at the University of Malta.

In the Lega Nord’s electoral programme, there was only one point on organised crime – an important subject in any election in Italy.

Read more: To tell you the truth – populism’s increasing pressure on journalists

Now, Salvini attacks those exposing the mafia rather than cracking down on organised crime. He questioned whether Roberto Saviano, the author of best-selling book ‘Gomorrah’ which exposed the operations of the Camorra, deserved police protection. The author has been living under armed guard since the book was published in 2006, when he was 27 years old.

The scenario in Italy is one similar to Malta’s, where crooks in power use a propaganda machine to spread hate against those who oppose their wrongdoings while at the same time choosing to collaborate with crooks.


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