(ANSA) - Caltanissetta, October 21 - Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Angelino Alfano on Monday called for beefing up the state's management of mafia assets as a key weapon needed for the battle against organized crime in Italy.
In the last seven months, police have seized more than 1.9 billion euros worth of assets in probes related to the No. 1 Cosa Nostra fugitive, alleged boss of bosses Matteo Messina Denaro, alone.
"We have taken stock of a very delicate situation because we are mindful of a dramatic teaching that comes from the past. First they delegitimize you, then they isolate you, then they finish by killing you," Alfano said after a meeting of the National Committee for Public Safety and Order in the central Sicilian town of Caltanissetta.
In assessing the current system for tackling organized crime, "many points of light and a number of dark areas emerged that absolutely must be reduced. Number one, for example, with a better efficiency in the use of confiscated resources," said Alfano.
"The Agency for Confiscated Assets must be given more support and probably more effective legal instruments to succeed in (ensuring) all seized assets are used in such a way that no one can say the state takes away work and organized crime creates jobs," Alfano concluded.
Alfano also praised progress toward providing support for honest businesses and encouraging them to report crime.