The Italian cabinet has sacked the entire government of the southern city of Reggio Calabria to stop it from going under the direct control of the mafia.
Mayor Demetrio Arena and all 30 city councillors were sacked yesterday under the provision announced in Rome by interior minister Anna Maria Cancellieri.
It was the first time that the government of a provincial capital had been dismissed en masse because of suspected links to organised crime. A number of smaller cities have met the same fate in the past.
The action was taken after inspectors determined that some councillors of the city, which has a population of 180,000 people, had ties to the ‘Ndrangheta, the Sicilian mafia.