Italian mobster lived as fugitive on Costa del Sol

Police have arrested a member of an Italian criminal gang who spent years living along Spain's Costa del Sol, frequenting luxury restaurants and keeping tabs on transnational drug trafficking.

Italian mobster lived as fugitive on Costa del Sol
Carlo Leone was arrested in San Pedro de Alcántara on Thursday. Photo: Guardia Civil

Carlo Leone was arrested in San Pedro de Alcántara on Thursday, six years after he escaped an arrest warrant in Italy’s Calabria region.

The 55-year-old was located in the Costa del Sol in February, as part of a joint investigation between Italian authorities and the Spanish Civil Guard.

Leone is a member of Naples’ Elia clan and was involved in trafficking drugs between South America, Spain and Italy.

While living as a fugitive he continued to maintain his contacts in the international drug trade, focusing on cocaine and hashish, police said on Friday.

While criminal convictions hung over Leone in Italy, he whiled away his years on the run at some of the Costa del Sol’s top restaurants.

His penchant for the Spanish luxury life, however, helped police investigators, who discovered he could frequently be found in a bar-restaurant in San Pedro de Alcántara.

Leone was arrested while walking alone in the town and jailed by police, while authorities arrange his extradition to Italy.  

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Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.

Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?