Italian mafia syndicates have long been interested in infiltrating the country's Masonic lodges, according to a report by Rosy Bindi, the president of parliament's anti-mafia commission. "The Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta have constantly, for time immemorial up to today, cultivated and nourished accentuated interest in the Masonry," the report read.
"On the side of the Masonic associations, there was been a sort of submissiveness to the mafia".
The report also said there were cases in which the Masonry helped organised crime syndicates to subvert justice.
"Solidarity between brothers makes possible dialogue between mafia figures and those who administer justice, it legitimizes requests to intervene to change the course of trials and imposes silence", the report read.
Stefano Bisi, the grand master of Grande Oriente d'Italia, Italy's leading Masonic lodge, blasted the report. "We are seriously worried," said Bisi.
"Someone in Italy wants to go back in time and effectively reintroduce the Fascist, illiberal laws, above all, those against the Masonry.
"It could be the start of a dangerous return to the past, as Antonio Gramsci denounced.
"Democracy and free thinking are in grave danger".