Rome's "Mafia Capitale" not really mafia?

The criminal tentacles of the organisation dubbed the "Mafia Capitale" reportedly reached into every department of Rome's City Hall and secured lucrative public contracts. Now a Rome court has pronounced judgement on the affair and given the leaders of the network lengthy prison sentences. The judges, however, rejected the claims that the network was a mafia organisation. Italy's press is only partially satisfied.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Rome freed of a heavy burden

La Stampa voices relief after the sentencing:

“The charges were grave and weighed heavily on local politics and Rome's administration. … A sentence [of mafia infiltration] would have seen Rome go down in history as a city whose administration was dominated for years by a handful of presumptuous crooks. Crooks who created such a climate of submission that any resistance was impossible, a climate in which politicians, officials and employees were either directly involved in the criminal activities or were forced to accept them in silence. Nonetheless the work of the public prosecutors was not in vain. On the contrary, it has accomplished something great: it has conquered a criminal practice that thrive in the shadow of the Capitol for years.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

The mafia by any other name would be as violent

The judgement is a breakthrough only at first glance, La Repubblica fumes:

“When a city celebrates a judgement that hands down prison sentences amounting to a total of 250 years, you might think at first that there's good reason to rejoice. But if we look closely and realise that it is not the justice of the sentence that is being celebrated but the fact that the criminals have been classified as criminals rather than Mafiosi this is in fact a very scary situation. If anyone is relieved because although the city administration has been infiltrated to the core by a criminal network but that network hasn't actually been designated as mafia, they are lost. … Now the mafia is being treated as a problem that affects Sicily alone. No one should get the idea that other indigenous clans might apply mafia methods.”