This morning, Don Luigi Ciotti was in via dei Prefetti, in Rome, to start the week of mobilization of the association Libera (Free by any mafia). "No gifts to the mafia, the confiscated property is Cosa Nostra (something only for us)" is the symbolic slogan of the auction, organized to raise public attention on the amendment to the budget law voted last week to the Senate. A measure that would clean out, after 13 years, one of the few good things done by the Italian government.
The confiscation of criminal goods in Italy was provided by the Rognoni-La Torre law, made on 17 September 1982 but only thanks to the law 109 of 1996, (which was approved following a motion for a popular initiative that gathered more than a million signatures), it was strictly excluded the sale of these properties and it was allowed the allocation of property for social purposes (schools, nursing homes), institutional or public safety. Thanks to this law, on 8.933 real estate confiscated from organized crime since 1982, 5407 were allocated to the state or municipalities for institutional purposes and 3213 are still to be decided. Much more than three thousand of these goods can not be assigned because people are still living inside or because they are part of other properties or, other times, they have a mortgage on it. Conditions that do not bother the mafia, who would be willing to take them.
If the amendment approved by the Senate would also pass to the House then the State Property Office will have 90 days (in more complex cases 180) to give to the local authorities the confiscated property from 1982 to present. And if it fails, it can put an auction. And probabily, it woul happen this, because usually after three months the buildings are not allocated. A real gift to organized crime, because the mafia, through figurehead, would be able to regain possession of property which have been lost. Goods that in 83 percent of cases are found in Sicily, Campania, Calabria and Puglia.
Don Luigi Ciotti has no doubt in defining this amendment as "another signal to the Mafia, like the one on wiretapping, on the tax amnesty, on the city of Fondi which has not been put under control".
So the association Libera goes so far as to make a request to the state, which is more interested in making profits than to defeat the mafia: the association is asking for a single law on the confiscated property to coordinate the various legislative initiatives that have been developed and the strengthening of the instruments established for the identification of these goods.
Libera has therefore launched an appeal already signed by more than 20 thousand citizens, "No gifts to the mafia, the goods which have been confiscated are ours!" (Cosa Nostra in Italian means "our thing")". An appeal which calls on the Government and Parliament to withdraw the amendment on the sale of confiscated property. To make citizens understand that the State will not give up. Because the law that otherwise will be put apart, is a law for which Pio La Torre was killed because he dared so much. And the law was passed only after another illustrious murder, that of Prefect Dalla Chiesa, who was also a supporter of that measure.
Saturday, 28 November, all the coordinations of Libera will hold a garrison in every province where there are confiscated property that may be subject to sale and collect signatures for the withdrawal of the amendment. Because Italian citizens do not need a state that rattles off numbers, tables and percentages of successes against the Mafia, with the arrests of the fugitives and seized property if it is the same state that blow up everything with a wet sponge.
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