Italians call for stand against Mafia activity

21st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 August 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Italian restaurant owners in Berlin called Tuesday for solidarity to combat protection rackets and other Mafia activities in Germany. "We say no to the Mafia," said Laura Garavini, coordinator of the Union of Italians in the World (UIM). "We cannot simply look away," she told a news conference in Berlin. Seventeen of Berlin's 300 Italian restaurants, including several top-flight ones, have pledged to support the campaign, which comes a week after six Italians were shot to dea

21 August 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Italian restaurant owners in Berlin called Tuesday for solidarity to combat protection rackets and other Mafia activities in Germany.

"We say no to the Mafia," said Laura Garavini, coordinator of the Union of Italians in the World (UIM). "We cannot simply look away," she told a news conference in Berlin.

Seventeen of Berlin's 300 Italian restaurants, including several top-flight ones, have pledged to support the campaign, which comes a week after six Italians were shot to death in a Mafia-style execution in the city of Duisburg.

Police are still searching for two men suspected of killing the Italians in their cars outside a pizzeria near the Ruhr city's main station in the early hours of August 15.

More than 100 tips had been received from the population and a composite photograph of the one of the suspects had been circulated, but there was no firm lead, a police spokesman said.

The dead men have been linked to the Mafia-like 'Ndrangheta from Calabria. According to Italian reports, they were probably victims of a 15-year vendetta involving the Strangio-Nirta and the Vottari-Romeo-Pelle families from San Luca in Calabria.

The bodies of the six victims were handed over to their families on Monday for burial. Italian reports said they would all be buried in Italy. Four of the victims lived in the Duisburg area, but two had recently arrived from Italy.

Italian author and Mafia expert Roberto Saviano said there was a greater involvement by Italian criminal organizations in Germany than indicated by the killings in Duisburg.

Saviano told the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the construction industry in the eastern part of Germany was controlled by the 'Ndrangheta and the Nepal-based Camorra.

Hundreds of subcontractors were linked to families affiliated to the Mafia clans, he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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