“AND’ an important day for Italy and Calabria. This government has made the fight against crime one of its most important commitments. This is also a victory for the institutions against the arrogance of the mafias.” These are the first words of the Minister for Relations with Parliament Luca Ciriani present at the demolition of Palazzo Mangeruca, the eco-monster of Torre Melissa confiscated from the ‘Ndrangheta.
“I believe that this is a symbol of what should be done in the future, I believe that we should also thank President Occhiuto and the administrations that wanted to accelerate in this direction. It is a symbol of how the State, if united, can always win. There are no parts of the territory exempt from the control of the State and legality. This applies here in Calabria, as well as in Caivano and other parts of the country.”
Deputy Minister Sisto: “The State is there, the Region is there”
Deputy Minister of Justice Francesco Paolo Sisto stated: “The State is there, the Region is there. We are in a position to effectively guarantee compliance with the rules and legality. It is not simply demolishing a property, but taking back a piece of territory that someone wanted to occupy illegally. The new course of the Region has put an end to this affair with unequivocal administrative acts and this firmness today allows us to implement an important moment of affirmation of legality”.
Occhiuto: “Today in Calabria the institutions are stronger than the criminal powers”
The governor of Calabria Roberto Occhiuto is satisfied: “The carabinieri has done an extraordinary job to speed up the procedures, the agency for confiscated assets and the prefecture have done the same. I am very happy because we have speeded up the procedures for killing this monster. It is a sign that today in Calabria the institutions are stronger than the criminal powers, indeed I undertake the commitment to finance many other demolitions redeveloping the areas where the Ndrangheta has built illegally in order to return them to the citizens in the most appropriate way. All the institutions are involved to demonstrate that there is a different Calabria. A campsite will be built here because the idea is to re-evaluate this area. Even New Year’s Eve in Crotone may seem like a small thing, but also through Rai images the most beautiful part of Crotone and Calabria is being shown.”
The general commander of the Carabinieri Teo Luzi was also on site
“Destroying an eco-monster built by the ‘Ndrangheta means making the State prevail over evil. It is a day of great symbolic interest. I like to think that it is also an act of homage to the many servants who died for this land. Ten Carabinieri were murdered by the ‘Ndrangheta for the legality of this territory. Today the State is stronger than in the past, in 2023 at a national level only with regards to the Carabinieri, over 500 mafiosi from the various cliques were arrested and another important fact is related to the seizure of assets illicitly accumulated by the mafias: only the weapon seized over 500 million in assets. Doing this means contributing to their weakening, but above all it means distributing goods to associations throughout the territory.”
Also the vice-president of the parliamentary anti-mafia commission, Mauro D’Attis (from Forza Italia) wanted to comment on the demolition. «Today in Calabria the State decisively erases the symbols of the ‘ndrangheta with the demolition of the Melissa eco-monster, a former furniture factory built by the mafia about 40 years ago. I can only applaud the work of President Roberto Occhiuto for a day that marks the cultural break between institutions and criminal organizations and confirms the strength of legality against all forms of oppression. There is a revolution to be made and in this period – adds D’Attis – the State is showing extraordinary determination in defending the fundamental values of our society. So good”.
Mayor Raffaele Falbo: “Beauty restored”
«It seemed like this day would never come. And instead it was historic for us and for Calabria.” The mayor of Melissa, Raffaele Falbo, said this after the demolition of the building confiscated from the ‘Ndrangheta. «There are two answers – added Falbo -: one linked to the excessive power of organized crime and the other to illegal activity. Knocking down the Mangeruca means seeing the territory return to how it was before, restored to its beauty. The message is to return to normality, because this earth needs normality from all points of view. In the past there has been discussion about reusing the property but no choices have been made. However, the legislation on confiscated assets did not provide the possibility because the amount and above all the structures that could operate had to be linked to the government or institutions and choices were not made. The first useful one was made with the current regional council to invest in tourism and therefore present a project to relaunch the area”. “We decided, thanks also to the then regional tourism councilor Fausto Orsomarso – the mayor said – to demolish the confiscated property to create a new accommodation facility linked to local tourism in our municipality”. Falbo then assured that with the financed sum of 700 thousand euros both the demolition and the construction of the camper area will be paid for. «This new reality will be delivered in April 2024 – he underlined – and with the savings obtained from the change in the abatement technique we also had the possibility of using the discount to build the camper area».