German embassy distributes anti-Mafia tourist maps for Sicily

AFP - [email protected] • 22 Jan, 2010 Updated Fri 22 Jan 2010 08:09 CEST
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German tourists can now obtain a map of Sicily's capital Palermo flagging the shops that refuse to pay extortion money to the Mafia, the German embassy in Rome has announced.

"The Addiopizzo tourist map signals all the shops in Palermo that... have pledged not to pay racketeering fees," the statement said on Thursday.

The Sicilian Mafia, the Cosa Nostra, extorts money from many businesses on the island, notably in Palermo.

Ambassador Michael Steiner decided to finance the German-language map because "Germans are the largest tourist contingent in Sicily, both in terms of numbers and spending," the embassy said.

The map is geared towards "two groups who have common interests: the people of Palermo who love their city, and German tourists who love Palermo and do not want to support racketeering," the statement said.

The map was inspired by the Addiopizzo (Goodbye Extortion) organisation, which calls itself an "open movement" made up of "shopkeepers and consumers who recognise themselves in the phrase 'People who pay extortion money are people without dignity'."

The phrase first appeared in June 2004 on stickers in the streets of central Palermo and is credited with launching the Addiopizzo movement, which today counts among its supporters hundreds of entrepreneurs and shopkeepers who have publicly come out against racketeering.

The first print run of the map, which will be available through German tour operators in Italy, totalled 10,000 copies, the embassy told AFP.



AFP 2010/01/22 08:09

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