“Anti-Mafia magistrates in Sicily have opened a sweeping investigation into the wind power sector where local officials, entrepreneurs and crime gangs are suspected of collusion in the construction of lucrative wind farms before their eventual sale to multinational companies.
Italian and EU subsidies for the building of wind farms and the world’s highest guaranteed rates, €180 ($240, £160) per kwh, for the electricity they produce have turned southern Italy into a highly attractive market exploited by organised crime.
An earlier investigation into a case near Trapani in western Sicily resulted in eight arrests in February, leading to accusations of a suspected nexus between a leading Mafia family that offered money and votes in exchange for permits to construct wind farms.”
I am not sure what is illegal here but the Mafiais going to be in trouble for this. It seems that they are just trying to get on the good side of local officials and get these windmills put in place. Now of course if they are using force to get people to give their property or whatever over to them then that would be bad. All I see is that they gave money and votes in exchange for the permits. In the United States, we call this rent-seeking.
My favorite sentence of all:” Sicily’s Cosa Nostrais evolving and finding new business opportunities, including the renewable energy sector…”
The rest is here.