UK & World News
Council Ousted Over Suspected Mafia Links
The Italian government has dissolved a local council in the south of the country and taken control because of fears it was closely connected to the mafia.
The takeover of the city of Reggio Calabria follows the arrest of a local councillor on mafia charges.
It was announced by Interior minister Annamaria Cancellieri who said it was a "preventative act and not a punishment".
Ms Cancellieri said the decision was taken "not for Mafia infiltration but for closeness" to the organised crime network.
The announcement came after an investigation into the city administration prompted by the councillor's detention last year.
Italian law required an inquiry to determine whether or not there was any infiltration by the mafia.
The city will now be run by three commissioners until elections are held in 18 months.
While smaller city administrations have been dissolved for similar reasons, Ms Cancellieri said it was the first time this has happened to a provincial capital.
Calabria is home to the powerful 'Ndrangheta organised crime family, the group who were behind the Duisburg pizzeria massacre in Germany in 2007 in which six rival clan members were killed.
The killings were the culmination of a long-running vendetta between rival families in the region.
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