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SANTO’S SADNESS: Following news of the dissolution of the Reggio Calabria city council for its criminal ties to the ’Ndrangheta mafia, Santo Versace — a native of the southern Italian port city — expressed sadness, but no surprise.
“Organized crime, whether Calabrian, Sicilian, from Campania or Apulia, is in every corner of this wretched Italy and the world,” the Versace chairman told the Corriere della Sera in an interview published Thursday.
The older brother of Gianni and Donatella Versace added that when the three were kids, their parents raised them to respect honesty and play by the rules. “It’s always a question of mentality,” he said. “In the Fifties, my father, who sold vegetable charcoal in a shop and wholesale, received threats of extortion but went straight to the police and filed a report: they left him in peace. My mother, on the other hand, who had the tailor shop where Gianni trained, was never harassed.”
Versace has been a member of the Italian Parliament since 2008. After several years with former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Popolo della Libertà (People of Freedom) party, in 2011 he switched to the Alleanza per l’Italia (Alliance for Italy) party.