Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano on why ‘Italy is collapsing’


Italian journalist, author and essayist Roberto Saviano is best known outside of his country for his 2006 book Gomorrah, a detailed investigation exposing the activities of the Neapolitan mafia. It earned him worldwide acclaim, both for his journalism and his considerable courage, while the Camorra crime syndicate placed a price on his head. He has lived under permanent police protection ever since. But Saviano, 38, has also become a thorn in the side of Italy’s far-right interior minister (and deputy prime minister), Matteo Salvini, whose xenophobic, anti-migrant policies he regularly denounces – which alarmingly prompted Salvini to threaten to remove Saviano’s police protection. In this interview with Mediapart, Saviano details his appraisal of the Italian political scene and of Salvini, and slams European Union policies on immigration which he says has fuelled the rise to power of extremists.

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Italian journalist Roberto Saviano rose to international fame after the publication in 2006 of his acclaimed book Gomorrah, a detailed investigation of the activities of the Neapolitan mafia, which was also adapted into a film and a TV series. But along with the praise and numerous prizes for his work, he also became the target of death threats from the Camorra crime syndicate, which resulted in him having to live under permanent police protection. He has since written further exposés of organised crime, including ZeroZeroZero about the cocaine trade.