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Good times roll for the Italian mob

Italy's "biggest company" is doing just fine in the recession: 

Italy's mafia crime syndicates bucked the recession in 2009 to raise 'profits' by almost 8 percent with the financial crisis making companies and even the stock market even more vulnerable to cash-flush mobsters.

"Mafia Inc. is reinforcing its position as the number one Italian company," said a report published on Wednesday by a body whose members bear the brunt of mafia extortion and crimes, the small business and shopkeepers' association Confesercenti.

It estimated that the impact on business equalled about 7 percent of Italy's economic output, enjoying healthy growth in a year when the Italian economy shrank by almost 5 percent.

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