San Luca, Italy - 2 September, 2012: An unfinished home is seen here in San Luca, a mafia stronghold in Calabria, Italy, on September 2nd, 2012. San Luca, in the words of a study published in 2005 by Italy's domestic intelligence service, is the cradle of the 'Ndrangheta and its epicentre. The unfinished concrete buildings, which are very common throughout Calabria, are the result of the inability to go beyond the merely useful, creating functionality without regard for form.
Calabria is one of the poorest Italian regions which suffers from lack of basic services (hospitals without proper equipment, irregular electricity and water), the product of disparate political interests vying for power. The region is dominated by the 'Ndrangheta (pronounced en-Drang-get-A), which authorities say is the most powerful in Italy because it is the welthiest and best organized.
The region today has nearly 20 percent unemployment, 40 percent youth unemployment and among the lowest female unemployment and broadband Internet levels in Italy. Business suffer since poor infrastructure drives up transport costs.
Last summer the European Union's anti-fraud office demanded that Italy redirect 380 million euros in structural funding away from the A3 Salerno - Reggio Calabria highway after finding widespread evidence of corruption in the bidding processes.
- ©2012 Gianni Cipriano
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