Series: European money for the Mafia?

In this new series, Eurojournalist(e) presents the results of an investigation that lasted several months and could be the script of a Hollywood movie.

Is European money ending up in the pockets organised crime? Foto: Eurojournalist(e) / CC-BY 2.0

(KL) – Since the 1990s, the European Union has been involved in the construction of gas pipelines that transport natural gas from Asia and Africa to Europe. The most important player in these dynamic projects, the next phase of which is planned for 2024, is the Italian giant ENI, the second largest energy company in Europe after the TOTAL group. These infrastructure projects are important for Europe’s energy supply, especially today, when it is necessary to break away from dependence on Russian energy supplies. However, in the context of these projects, numerous violations of the Italian “anti-mafia law” (Legge 55 of 19 March 1990) have been committed by the European Union’s partners and their own subcontractors, such as the companies SNAM and Bonatti. SNAM’s and Bonatti’s links to organised crime have been documented in various ways and now the question arises whether European funds have partly ended up in the pockets of organised crime in Italy. Considering that these projects cost several billion euros, it is worth taking a closer look. Not only to analyse what has happened in these projects since the 90s, but also to understand what needs to be done so that this is not repeated in the next stages of these huge projects.

In this series starting today, you will discover the different aspects of our investigation. Thus, in the coming weeks you will read:

1. ENI – SNAM – Bonatti and the others: Who are they and how did this come about?

2. The structures of organised crime in Italy: Mafia, N’Dragheta and Camorra. How do they operate and what has changed in their strategy and organisation over the last decades?

3. The gas infrastructures in Italy: TMP (Trans Mediterranean Pipeline) and TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline). Construction, développement and perspectives.

4. A judiciary at the service of organised crime? – The incredible malpractices of the Italian judicial system. Corruption, links to business and politics and the silence of the Superior Council of the Magistracy.

5. The role of the European Commission in these projects: sums invested, controls carried out, gas pipeline project monitoring strategies and budget control. For this, we have submitted a questionnaire to the European Commission.

6. Doctor Nicola Gratteri, the “Mafia hunter”. Presentation of a public prosecutor who has been hunting down mafia structures in Italy and other countries for many years and who has already indicted more than 900 mafiosos.

7. The Rosario Leo case. A struggle that has already lasted 26 years of a building contractor who was so brave to oppose organised crime and who has been paying a high price for it for almost three decades.

For reasons of topicality, in the next few days we will publish a “special issue” on a bill that the Italian parliament is due to vote on 6 September. This is about a general amnesty for politicians, judges and prosecutors and members of high society. This proposal is scandalous, because such an amnesty would guarantee these people impunity and thus they could carry on exactly as before without having to fear any consequences.

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