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How's the mafia in Italy?

I know it's a very stereotypical question.
But I'd like to know whether the Mafia in Italy are similar to Yakuza in Japan in many ways.
Here, they are affiliated with politicians, big corporations, and the police. They are hired to take care of nasty business that those seemingly successful people don't want to do. They own seemingly normal bars and clubs.

I know in Italy things are worse in the south, but I'd like to know how close they are related to ordinary people. Is that something you know of, but don't talk about? In my country, ordinary people are afraid of talking about Yakuza in public.

For learning: Italian
Base language: English
Category: Culture

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    Mafia is the first company in Italy in terms of business volume with its 130.000.000.000 € per year. And it is not only for nasty business, not at all. Mafia is in the buildings, med-care, transport, administration (and when i say politics i mean politicians are mafiosi themselves). In a few words it is everywhere. In italy where is money and power there you can be sure there is mafia's hand taking its part.

    About the public debate about mafia it is a recurring argument. Sometimes it is at the center of the public debate, sometimes some people denies mafia even exists. In the last two years thou emerged mafia has huge power in the north too and this news luckly shaken the public.

    probably is more in the north than in the south of Italy. From the south started the expansion, and the "family" (the head) is still there, but the real gain nowadays is in the north, not in the south.
    Often people even doesn't "feel" mafia around them, less than other the tourist (that is always afraid by mafia). You can feel in the south for the "protection money", but for sure none will say to you about that mechanism if involved into. As in the best movies, there is, but none see, speak or listen anything.

    Luigi said you the rest.

     

    it is a well known fact that many politicians ask support to mafia in order to gather votes; these same politicians, due to the favours they asked to mafia men, are not suited to contrast the mafia phenomenon; I am certainly not saying that the majority of politicians act like that, but a few of them, which are nevertheless capable, due to their secret pacts with mafia organization (especially in city councils or in regional councils) are capable of doing a n immense damage to society.

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