In recent weeks, there has been an increasing concern across Europe within the fraternity about anti-Masonic government activity in Italy. The Italians keep at it by abusing anti-Mafia laws against Freemasonry, in much the same way RICO laws in the U.S. designed to fight organized crime got contorted and exploited to prevent anti-abortion protesters from marching in front of Planned Parenthood clinics. This kind of institutionalized anti-Masonry has briefly succeeded before in Italy after the P2 scandal in the 1980s, and in England under then-Home Secretary Jack Straw. It was only stopped by a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2009 that decided laws demanding Freemasons turn over their lists of membership or personally declare their membership publicly as a requirement for employment or public office violated Article 41 of the European Union's Convention on Human Rights regarding free association and non-discrimmination against specifically Masonic organizations.
The French language blog, 3, 5, 7, et Plus, is an excellent one for keeping abreast of activities in Europe regarding Freemasonry that go unreported over here. Its author usually does a pretty good job of presenting stories that can sometimes be complex, because he is aware of the many competing (and frequently bewildering) Masonic obediences at work in those countries. The site's author is anonymous and freely states his own subjectivity: he is a 24+ year member of the Grand Orient de France, so keep that frame of reference in mind. But his articles about the situation in Italy do a good job of laying out what's happening. I excerpt two of his entries below.
A follow up February 13th post, The Espresso and the Abolition of Freemasonry continues the story, once it gained publicity in one of Italy's most influential magazines:
In its issue of February 12, 2017, the weekly L'Espresso [magazine] caused a controversy which immediately led a very energetic reaction of the Grand Orient of Italy via the voice of the Grand Master Stefano Bisi.
The famous Italian weekly has indeed published a long article by Gianfrancesco Turano, journalist and novelist, entitled (no less): "Abolish Freemasonry". This article isn't yet an investigation. Rather, it is a reminder of what is said or what could be said in Italy on the alleged links between the criminal and the lodges in Calabria, on the hearings of officials of Masonic obediences by the parliamentary anti-mafia commission and on access to the files that contain the identity and contact information of their members. Turano came inevitably on the case of the P2 lodge and of Occhionero, who hit the headlines recently. Finally, he recalled the ongoing judicial investigations and concluded, provocatively, that Freemasonry should be abolished.
L'Espresso does not claim support of the ban on Freemasonry but seems rather to have one editorial [viewpoint] throughout this article. Nevertheless, the process is brutal because L'Espresso is a real institution in Italy. This title of the Italian press participated in all major battles as a corporation. To make a comparison with France, it's as if Nouvel Observateur, a weekly [publication] of the left and centre-left, published a similar case with a shock title.
In a press release, published on the day of the release of the weekly [issue], the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy has counterattacked: