Italy's 'Adam and Eve' affair forces resignation of anti-Mafia mayor

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The Independent Online

Calabria, Italy's mafia heartland, has thrown up its own "Adam and Eve" political scandal laced with forbidden love, a dramatic death and the sudden end to the promising career of a local mayor and feminist icon.

The illicit affair between "Eve", Evelina Catizone, the first woman mayor in Calabria and "Adam", Nicola Adamo, regional leader of the Democrats of the Left has propelled the pair into the national consciousness.

Ms Catizone, a glamorous, campaigning anti-Mafia official, was seen as a breakthrough success in a traditionally conservative region, dominated by parties linked to the Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. The affair, in which Ms Catizone gave birth to a son, became public when Mr Adamo confessed to the relationship in a statement and asked forgiveness of his wife and two other children.

Ms Catizone has fared less well, being forced to resign after a stormy Democrat Party meeting decided she had become an electoral liability in the intensely Catholic region. The outgoing mayor left the meeting saying she that had been "politically raped".

A party spokesman said Ms Catizone had not been punished for succumbing to temptation: "The son of Adamo does not come into it, this was a situation that could not go on because of her political errors."

As she was preparing to announce her resignation, Antonino Catera, a reporter who has covered the saga from the beginning, died of a heart attack on the steps of the town hall.

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