Italy: M5S leader Di Maio talks Camorra amid applause and protest in Naples

Five Star Movement party (Movimento 5 Stelle, M5S) leader and prime ministerial candidate Luigi Di Maio visited the Neapolitan neighbourhood and Camorra stronghold of Scampia on Monday.

Di Maio visited the Neapolitan judoka and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Pino Maddaloni’s gym, where was welcomed by dozens of supporters as well as Maddaloni’s father Gianni.

“The Camorra exists when politics is complicit. The best way to fight criminal organisations is to get rid of corrupt politicians and create rock solid rules against them. Criminality doesn’t exist without the corruption of the institutions,” said Di Maio to those gathered.

Speaking about social projects which “save kids from the streets”, such as Maddaloni’s gym, Di Maio added that “I just come to thank for what they are doing. I hope that this can be a model to govern. The peripheries should become the centre of the cities, and investments are necessary to achieve this goal.”

Outside the sports centre, a small group from the organisation Comitato Vele protested against Di Maio’s ‘electoral catwalk’, according to local media.

The anti-establishment M5S has seen a recent surge in support ahead of the March 4 elections, where it will compete against a right-wing coalition that includes former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Go Italy! (Forza Italia) party and the Northern League (Lega Nord) as well as a left-wing coalition spearheaded by the centre-left Democratic Party (Partito Democratico.)

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