The slaying on Christmas Day of a Calabrian mafia supergrass's brother in the eastern Italian coastal town of Pesaro shows the "weakness" of the 'Ndrangheta international crime syndicate, interior minister Matteo Salvini said on Thursday.
"It is a sign of desperation and weakness," Salvini said, referring to the killing of Marcello Bruzzese outside his apartment in Pesaro's historic by hooded gunmen who fired at least 20 shots at the 51-year-old.
"Mafia, Camorra and 'Ndrangheta operate from their desks, compiling accounts as if they were companies," Salvini said at a press conference during a visit to Pesaro.
"This is a worrying sign but also one of weakness, because if they resort to taking out hits, it means they are in trouble."
"It shows their arrogance and their violent nature but also their weakness," Salvini added, stating that the state was "stronger" than the mob.
"The state is stronger, and in the end it will win the battle," he said.
Marcello Bruzzese’s brother, Girolamo, a former 'Ndrangheta member went to police and became an informant after their father, Domenico, a lieutenant of the notorious boss Teodoro Crea, was killed in 1995 in what was thought to be a mafia ambush.
Marcello was not a member of the ’Ndrangheta and moved to Pesaro three years ago.
The ’Ndrangheta is believed to have hundreds of key affiliates in 30 countries. A 2013 study estimated its global turnover at 53 billion euros - more than McDonald's and Deutsche Bank combined.