Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is cracking down on organized crime in his homeland, or so he said Thursday, creatively linking that issue with immigration and criticizing media depictions of the Mafia and other crime conglomerates for hurting Italy’s image. –KA

The New York Times:

In baroque Italy, where image and reality are so intertwined that the term hypocrisy seems inadequate, many did not even blink. “Those are the typical things you say when you go in an area with high Mafia density,” said Gianluca Nicoletti, a radio commentator. Besides, he added, “I don’t think he said it with great conviction.”

In his 2006 best seller “Gomorrah,” on the Camorra, or the Neapolitan Mafia, Roberto Saviano recounts how some real members of the Mafia model their style on that of fictional mobsters.

Mr. Berlusconi made his remarks at a news conference in the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria, where his cabinet unveiled an ambitious 10-point plan for fighting organized crime. They chose the site to demonstrate the presence of the state in Calabria after the ’Ndrangheta, or Calabrian mafia, threatened bomb attacks in recent weeks against magistrates and the president of Italy.

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