Italian Mafia Has Larger Annual Budget Than The EU

March 26, 2014Italyby EW News Desk Team

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Organised crime syndicates in Italy operate on an annual budget of more than 200 billion euros ($276 billion), claimed the country's foreign ministry on Tuesday, with significant investments both in and outside Italy.

Speaking at the Second Annual European Cyber Security Conference in Brussels, Giovanni Brauzzi, security policy director at the Italian ministry of foreign affairs, said that crime syndicates in Italy had begun to shift their "investments" overseas, with just 10 percent of their budget still parked within the country.

“Organised crime has an annual budget of more than 200 billion euros,” Brauzzi said, as cited by EUObserver. “They invest only 10 percent of this budget in Italy, the rest they invest in countries in Europe and elsewhere. They have good friends everywhere,” he added.

Comparatively, the EU's annual budget for 2014 was around 140 billion euros.

According to Brauzzi, one of the key ways the crime syndicates operated was to infiltrate “the most important companies working in financial transactions.”

“Corruption is the easiest way of doing busy in their framework,” he noted.

Related: Italy’s Financial Turmoil Turns Mafia Into Nation’s Largest Bank

Related: EU Orders Italy To Refund $471 Million After Discovery Of Mafia-Linked Motorway

Related: Ex-Italy PM Paid “Millions” In Protection Money To Mafia: Court

Earlier this month, new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had made a pledge to crack down on Italian crime syndicates. According to a 2012 study, the four largest Mafia groups in the country generate revenue of up too 10 percent of Italy’s entire GDP.

Additionally, the Italian Mafia run at a profit margin of up to 56 percent, the study claimed, due mainly to money lending and extortion activities.

A European Commission anti-corruption report published in February found that almost half the businesses in Italy see corruption as a “very serious or quite serious problem.”

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