Provence and the Riviera in south-east France, along with the Mediterranean island of Corsica, all highly popular summer destinations for tourists, have declared emergency measures to deal with a surge in hospital admissions of Covid-19 cases, with medical staff reporting that the patient age-groups are notably younger than previously seen.
In 2013, the French police internal investigation agency, the IGPN, opened a branch in Nice, the capital of the French Riviera where an environment of organised crime, prostitution and drugs trafficking feeds accusations of corruption within the local police. But the actions of the IGPN branch, and notably the methods of its commander, have shaken the morale of officers and sparked an internal inquiry into what one drugs squad chief called “unspeakable and unjust procedures, bordering on harassment”. Hélène Constanty reports.
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.”