Source AP ©

Italian group of industrialists to fight against mafia in Sicily

The industrialists across Italy will go on fighting against the Sicilian Mafia, warning that it will expel any business which colludes with mobsters.

In September, the Sicilian chapter of Confindustria, the national industrial lobby, announced it would kick out any member which submits to Mafia intimidation and extortion and pays "protection" money to Cosa Nostra, a deeply entrenched practice on the island.

Tuesday, the influential lobbying group's edict went nationwide. Il Sole-24 Ore, an Italian financial daily published by Confindustria, quoted the organization's national president, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, as pledging that that "businesses which are in cahoots with the Mafia will be expelled."

The industrialist is also chairman of Fiat.

Sicilian prosecutors Tuesday were investigating a break-in at Confindustria's office in Caltanissetta, a city in Western Sicily. The office has been in the forefront of the campaign to encourage businessmen to report Mafia intimidation and extortion demands to authorities.

Whoever broke into the office earlier in the week made off with minutes of the meetings in which Sicilian Confindustria officials discussed anti-Mafia strategy, Il Sole-24 Ore reported.