Deputy PM and interior minister Angelino Alfano has promised to keep organised crime away from Expo 2015.
In a Milan meeting with top officials – Lombardy governor Roberto Maroni, Milan mayor Giuliano Pisapia, Expo commissioner Giuseppe Sala, police chief Alessandro Pansa – Alfano announced the ten-point plan to protect the tempting prize from mafia infiltration. Already for this year €38 million have been earmarked for protecting the preparatory and construction phase, and a further €88 million will be voted in the 2015 Budget Law for “extraordinary requirements” during the year of the exhibition.
At the top of the list of anti-mafia measures is the beefing up of police forces in and around the city. By unblocking the turnover in personnel, the government has managed to provide a substantial reinforcement of police, carabinieri and finance guards, all without transferring much-needed forces from other cities. A new state police station is about to open in Rho, while a new carabinieri station will be required in Rho-Pero.
While some 400 policemen of various forces will be stationed directly in the Expo grounds, this will be only the first level. Extending around it, protection of transport, health, roads, railways and frontiers will be in the hands of more than 2,000 further officers. Altogether 1,500 men and women of the state police, 593 carabinieri and 464 finance guards will beef up security around the exhibition.
Another important measure will be a meeting in Milan every two months of the National Security Committee to check that all anti-mafia measures are proceeding according to plan.
“Signing this action plan,” said Alfano, “has crystallised the firm and determined intention of the state and of all the other organisations involved to activate every possible initiative to guarantee legality and transparency in every phase of the event.” Alfano thanked Mayor Pisapia and Governor Maroni for having already started monitoring Expo preparations to prevent mafia infiltration, and recalled how a number of companies have already been excluded from bidding as contractors.