Where there is pizza, there’s the Mafia?
MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images The murder of six men outside a pizza parlor in Duisberg, Germany last week has focused new attention on the globalization of the Italian mafia. Authorities claim that the shooting was linked to a feud between rival families of the ‘Ndrangheta, a Calabrian crime syndicate that has in recent years eclipsed the ...
MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images
The murder of six men outside a pizza parlor in Duisberg, Germany last week has focused new attention on the globalization of the Italian mafia. Authorities claim that the shooting was linked to a feud between rival families of the ‘Ndrangheta, a Calabrian crime syndicate that has in recent years eclipsed the better-known Sicilian Cosa Nostra. The ‘Ndrangheta’s presence in Germany has been well documented for some time now. Mafia groups own a significant amount of property in Germany for money-laundering purposes. As one of Europe’s leading cocaine importers, the group also has ties in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and South America, according to a report by the Italian premier’s office. However, this is the first crime of such magnitude to be committed outside of Italy, and many Germans are worried that the violence may continue. These fears seemed justified on Friday, when a statue of two clenched fists—a mafia symbol for revenge—was placed at the crime scene.
Meanwhile, the half-million Italians who live in Germany, particularly those involved involved in the restaurant business are concerned about the stigma of mafia involvement. Dubious German media reports have stated that around 30 percent of German pizza restaurants are mafia controlled. (The number is closer to 3 percent, restaurateurs say.) Seventeen Duisberg restaurant owners have issued an anti-mafia statement in order to reassure customers, but the ‘Ndrangheta has certainly not helped their fellow Italians with blunt statements such as this one:
The Germans must realize that where there is pizza, there’s the Mafia.”
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
More from Foreign Policy
A New Multilateralism
How the United States can rejuvenate the global institutions it created.
America Prepares for a Pacific War With China It Doesn’t Want
Embedded with U.S. forces in the Pacific, I saw the dilemmas of deterrence firsthand.
The Endless Frustration of Chinese Diplomacy
Beijing’s representatives are always scared they could be the next to vanish.
The End of America’s Middle East
The region’s four major countries have all forfeited Washington’s trust.