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Roberto Saviano: Politics and the Mafia

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Roberto Saviano: Politics and the Mafia


Roberto Saviano knows about the Camorra all too well.

The clan inspired his best-selling book ‘Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia’, which was made into a graphically violent, prize-winning film.

The writer now lives under police protection after receiving death threats.

Euronews asked for his reaction to the arrest of Michele Zagaria, head of the Casalesi clan of the Camorra that controlled a swathe of territory north of Naples.

Roberto Saviano: “Obviously it’s a very important arrest and not only because of its symbolic meaning or because a major criminal has been handed over to the justice system, but mainly because he was an organised crime leader involved in the world of business. His arrest allows us to take a snapshot, to understand and to put the activities of one of the world’s most powerful clans under the microscope.”

Claudio Rosmino, euronews: “How could he have been on the run for so long?”

Roberto Saviano: “I am sure that the fall of Berlusconi’s government and the weakening of his former junior finance minister Nicola Cosentino is leading a whole group of people in those circles to now feel unsure about their impunity and therefore cooperate with the justice system. When political protection starts crumbling, a lot of people linked to the Mafia start being afraid. I think the Zagaria arrest in recent hours is also due to a social and a political change which is taking place in Italy.”

euronews: “Who was Michele Zagaria and how did he operate?”

Roberto Saviano: “The profile of Michele Zagaria is of a man in the construction industry and a businessman who invested everywhere, in Italy and in Europe. He was a Mafia boss who has less blood on his hands and who is less violent compared to his colleagues. The man arrested today is someone who had a lot to do with the Italian business world and therefore, was much more dangerous than a regular criminal.”

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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