Mafia business 'equal' to 9% of GDP in Italy
Despite severe crackdown by Italian government, Mafia still operates in a very big way the business affairs of Italy. A latest economic survey has indicated that Italians earns less but number of millionaires is growing fast. Italy's four main mafias have generated business equivalent to about 9% of GDP in 2008.
Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the Camorra in Naples, 'Ndrangheta in Calabria and Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia turned over some 130 billion euros last year, Eurispes said. Drugs were still the mafias' mainstay, at 59 billion euros, followed by illegal waste trafficking and other environmental crime at 16 billion. This 'ecomafia' activity has recently outstripped other more traditional sources of income, Eurispes said.
But it still got 12.6 billion euros from loansharking in 2008, nine billion from protection rackets and 5.8 billion from arms trafficking and smuggling. Mafia wealth is reflected in total police asset seizures of 5.2 billion euros in 2008: 2.9 billion from the Camorra, 1.4 billion from Cosa Nostra and 231 million from 'Ndrangheta. The Eurispes report confirmed a recent interior ministry estimate that 'Ndrangheta alone generates some 45 billion euros, or 3% of GDP, from its stranglehold on the European cocaine trade. ITALIANS EARNING LESS BUT THE NUMBER OF MILLIONAIRES GROWS.
Although Italians earn less than other Europeans and the majority of families have trouble making it to the end of the month, the number of millionaires continues to grow, Eurispes said elsewhere in tis study.
Based on data for 2006, Eurispes found that Italians not only make less than other Europeans but they are failing to keep up with the growing cost of living. Eurispes also pointed out that while in the decade from 1997 to 2007 the number of the employed rose by almost three million people, there was no similar increase in earnings, which is usually the case when employment grows. The report found that 53.4% of Italians have trouble balancing their family budgets with only 33.4% able to put away some form of savings while 66.1% were unable to stretch their budgets to the end of the month. At the same time, Eurispes said, the number of Italian families with a capital of over a million euros in 2006, 359,000, is expected to almost double by 2010 to some 712,000, an increase of 98%.