A book published earlier this month by Mediapart contributor Hélène Constanty, entitled Razzia sur la Riviera, focuses upon the hidden side of the Côte d’Azur region of south-east France, detailing the corruption, criminality and excesses behind the exotic image of the sun-soaked Riviera. One chapter deals with a problem that many in France ignore, namely the deep-rooted presence in the region of the Italian Mafia. The phenomenon is increasingly worrying Italian anti-Mafia investigators, in particular because they consider that the extent of the problem is insufficiently recognised by the French judiciary and police. Mediapart publishes here translated extracts from Constanty’s book detailing examples of the presence of the Italian crime syndicates, and in which Italy’s most senior anti-Mafia prosecutor, Franco Roberti, warns: “France doesn’t measure the gravity of the problem.”
Earlier this month, Mediapart organised a public debate on the issue of corruption and how to fight this scourge of democracy. The honorary guest and speaker at this rich evening of discussion was Roberto Scarpinato, a senior Italian magistrate and veteran anti-Mafia investigator who since February 2013 has served as public prosecutor in Palermo, Sicily. Scarpinato has regularly denounced, and prosecuted, the hidden corruption and collusion with the Mafia among the Italian establishment. Here, Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel analyses the political sense this tireless and courageous figure gives to his mission, and which offers inspiration to all those who seek to eradicate both the corrupt practices that have gangrened society, and the oligarchs that feed off them.
The latest twists in the Cahuzac affair show that money, when it becomes an end in itself, is like crime in its desire to escape the law. Here Mediapart republishes an article by Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel in which he sets out how tax evasion has become a colossal and institutionalised business at the centre of the economy. Fighting it has never been more urgent, he argues, yet little effort - if any - is being made to prevent it or to sanction those who are bleeding society of vital resources.