Sunday

29th Jan 2023

Italian mob has €200bn annual budget

  • Rome: organised crime in Italy is said to have a €200bn annual budget. (Photo: Giampaolo Macorig)

The annual budget of organised crime in Italy is bigger than that of the EU, with most of the money spent outside Italy, the country's foreign ministry says.

“Organised crime has an annual budget of more than €200 billion,” said Giovanni Brauzzi, security policy director at the Italian ministry of foreign affairs, on Tuesday (25 March).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

“They invest only 10 percent of this budget in Italy, the rest they invest in countries in Europe and elsewhere. They have good friends everywhere,” he added.

The EU's annual budget for 2014 in comparison is around €140 billion.

There are conflicting estimates on the scale of Italian organised crime.

A study out last year by the Italian-based Transcrime joint research centre said Italy's mobs take in just €10.5 billion per year.

Another study, released in 2012 by Confesercenti, a employers' association, put the annual turnover figure at €140 billon.

Brauzzi, who was speaking at the Second Annual European Cyber Security Conference in Brussels, said the mob also works with the Italian legal system to crack down on minor cyber threats on the internet in a mutually beneficial relationship.

“They produce evidence for the legal system in order find these groups, in order to stop those activities and to keep going ‘as business as usual’ in order then to have their own activities protected,” he said.

Top lawyers and managers are on their payroll, he said.

He noted that over the past few years, Italy's organised crime syndicates have shifted their "investments" outside Italy.

Brauzzi said Italy's organised crime is deeply embedded in “the most important companies working in financial transactions.”

“Corruption is the easiest way of doing busy in their framework,” he noted.

A European Commission anti-corruption report published in February found that almost half the businesses in Italy see corruption as a “very serious or quite serious problem.”

EU has 'no corruption-free zone'

Corruption across the EU bloc is costing taxpayers billions as member states fail to tackle the problem head on, according to the European Commission.

Poland's legal fixes to collect EU funds come under fire

Unlocking the €35.4bn in grants and loans allocated for Poland as part of the EU's Covid-19 fund is key for the Law & Justice (PiS) government to boost its chances ahead of the upcoming elections in the autumn.

Exclusive

MEP pension fund invested in cluster munition arms industry

The European Parliament's voluntary pension scheme held 14,900 shares in Raytheon in 2008 with a market value of $547,000, despite being blacklisted by Norway's sovereign wealth in 2005 for producing and selling cluster munitions.

Opinion

Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters

The ECHR ruled that Russia was in "effective control" of separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine from 11 May 2014. In doing so, the court has formally acknowledged the inter-state character of the conflict and Russia's culpability for human rights abuses.

Opinion

Greece's spy scandal must shake us out of complacency

The director of Amnesty International Greece on the political spying scandal that now threatens to bring down prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Activists and NGO staff work with the constant fear that they are being spied on.

Latest News

  1. Pressure mounts on EU to coordinate visas for Russian rights-defenders
  2. Dutch set to agree to US-led chip controls to China
  3. No record of Latvian MEP's 'official' Azerbaijan trip
  4. Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters
  5. Europe continues to finance Russia's war in Ukraine with lucrative fossil fuel trades
  6. Official: EU parliament's weak internal rule-making body leads to 'culture of impunity'
  7. Red tape border logjam for EU's 1.3m 'frontier workers'
  8. Greece's spy scandal must shake us out of complacency

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  2. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  3. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  4. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us