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Palermo enters the running to host AMLA

Palermo, the capital of Sicily, has received approval from the municipal council to submit a bid to house the new EU anti-money laundering organization (AMLA).

The suggestion by Councillor for Productive Activities Giuliano Forzinetti, who claimed that Palermo would be the "symbolically best place" to combat illicit money, has now been approved by the city's council members, according to PalermoToday.

In light of the sacrifices made by Pio La Torre, Giovanni Falcone, and Paolo Borsellino—all of whom were assassinated after making attempts to bring the Sicilian mafia to justice—he observed that it would be especially meaningful.

According to Mr. Forzinetti, "A valid strategy to combat organised crime must affect its economic bases, that is, on the vast network of goods and economic relationships intended for the maintenance and exercise of criminal powers."

"In the evolution of anti-money laundering legislation, a central role has been played by the city of Palermo," he continued.

Before being slain by mafia members in 1982, Pio La Torre established the Rognoni-La Torre anti-mafia law, which permitted judges to seize and confiscate items owned by the mafia.

"Thanks to the work of great magistrates such as Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who actively collaborated in the formulation of the law, Italy has the most advanced anti-mafia legislation in the world also with regard to anti-money laundering," according to Mr. Forzinetti.

In July 2021, the European Commission presented its EU AML Action Plan, which outlined strategies for establishing a single EU AML Authority (AMLA) for the community. France, Germany, Latvia, and The Netherlands have all shown a desire to host AMLA thus far.

"Palermo, with its history and its strong commitment to legality in the fight against crime and money laundering," he emphasized, " is the natural candidate to be the seat of the Authority."

The location of AMLA in Palermo, he continued, would be immensely symbolic for the countless people who have died in Sicily fighting against the mafia and would commemorate the 30th anniversaries of the Capaci and Via D'Amelio killings.

"Furthermore, it should not be ignored that, according to a study carried out by the Municipality of Rome (which has also submitted its candidacy to host the headquarters of AMLA, the presence of the Authority would entail the arrival of at least 450 people, including employees and officials, to be hosted in the accommodation facilities of the city and this derives a foreseeable induced of at least €300M," the Councillor continued.

Palermo's decision would be a "necessary and essential premise for the revival of the cities of the South as international hubs," he insisted, adding that they could not overlook the "economic effects" on the city.

Council members will now draft a formal request for Palermo to be the Italian candidate city to host AMLA, which will be sent to the Italian government.

The choice would be a "historic fact" for the city and its dedication to "legality and transparency," according to Palermo's deputy mayor Carolina Varchi. Giving "concrete support in the field of anti-money laundering means freeing the market from negative influences that alter its correct performance," she continued.



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