«The mafia is a criminal phenomenon and associating it with concepts of conviviality and relaxation helps to trivialize the illegal activities and misdeeds committed by this organization, which are against the fundamental values of the EU, such as respect for human dignity and freedom». It is a passage from the letter of protest that the Italian ambassador in Madrid, Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldisent to the president of the Casademont Zaragoza basketball team, Reynaldo Benitor, what accepted as sponsor the restaurant chain called “La Mafia se sienta a la mesa”, the Mafia sits at the table, which offers Italian gastronomy trivializing Cosa Nostra. The agreement would have been signed last February. In the letter, the Italian diplomat specifies that the news of the collaboration has “disturbed” him, underlining that “the image of the mafia sitting at the table is also harmful to the culture of the Mediterranean diet, shared by Spain and Italy, which makes the meal a important moment of social exchange and personal growth”. Furthermore, Buccino Grimaldi specifies, “many efforts and huge resources are dedicated to the fight against this phenomenon, not only by the Italian government, but also at European Union level, since the organized crime represents a serious threat to security, the legal economy and coexistence”.
The ambassador recalls that both the European Intellectual Property Office (Euipo) and the Court of Justice of the European Union have dealt with the issue of registering the name of the restaurant business ‘The mafia sits at the table and both organizations they underlined that this brand is “against public order and is offensive”.
In 2018, European judges ruled that the mafia is a criminal organization that has carried out ferocious bloody acts and using its name for a restaurant chain is an offense «not only to the victims and their families but also to any European citizen who has a normal degree of sensitivity and tolerance». So the Spanish chain ‘La Mafia se sienta a la mesà’ will have to change its name because the current one “is against public order”.