Italian journalists are living in fear from mafia intimidation according to the Local. A total of 89 journalists in Calabria reported they had received verbal or physical threats, and one was given state protection.
Giuseppe Soluri, the president of the Order of Journalists for Calabria said that the frequency and level of threats “had become more serious” in recent years. He also said that political and economic problems in the area had exacerbated the problem.
Research by the Istituto Demoskopika showed that journalists working in the heartland of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia clan were most at risk. The 89 threatened journalists come from a pool of just 1,000 members of the Order of Journalists in the area. The next most under threat are journalists in Basilicata, Sicily, the home of the Camorra, and Campania.
News of the threats comes after a journalist in Calabria, Michele Albanese was deemed to be in so much danger that he was given a level of security normally reserved for judges. Mr Albanese claimed that he was given the protection due to “very violent threats” from the mafia.
He said: “I was seriously threatened by someone over the phone. The last time it happened was a year ago. But after reporting the most recent threat, the police decided to give me protection.”
Raffaele Rio, an economist at Demoskopika, said that only one other journalist has been given this amount of protection in the past. He is the mafia writer Roberto Saviano, who now has a permanent police escort due to the risk he faces from hired assassins.
Mr Rio said: “The fact that the state made this move shows how serious the threats to his life were”. He went on to state that in his view it was “unthinkable” that journalists should have to endure such intimidation just for doing their jobs.
Whilst stories like these are not unusual they do lead to concern in Britain. Given that there are plans to make the EU a federal country, British people now have to accept that mafia threats to journalists are a fact of life in the country they live in.
This is similar to corruption and genuine poverty, both of which are rare in Britain but rife in EU countries like Romania. However, revelations like this do serve to drive a wedge between ‘Middle England’ and the pro-Europeans who want the country to be superseded completely by Brussels.