I just came back from Italy. That’s why you’ll find some of my thoughts about it spread here on the blog. I know the country pretty well and I have to admit – especially after I talked to good Italian friends of mine – that I’m really worried about what’s going on there. If I talk about Italy with my German friends the reaction is more or less: “Well, it’s Italy, we shouldn’t take it too seriously.” I think that’s a big mistake. On the contrary: we must start to take it very, very seriously.
According to this blogosfere interview Italian citizens feel much better now since 3000 soldiers of the Italian Army started patrolling city streets on August 4. How could it be different? I mean – look at the guys:
Let’s have a look what the rest of the world thinks about it:
British Telegraph in its article “Soldiers to patrol Italian streets to stop crime” of July 24, quotes Italian defence Minister Ignazio La Russa saying: “If it was possible to recruit and train 2,500 police officers immediately than I would be delighted not to use troops in the cities.
And again British Telegraph on August 4 goes “Italian mayor bans gatherings of three or more people as soldiers hit streets” Massimo Giordano, a member of Italy’s anti immigration Northern League party and mayor of northern Italian city of Novara wants to ban gatherings in public, so if anyone is caught in a group of three or more they face a fine of 500 euro (£350). The article closes saying that:
The last time Italy put soldiers on the streets was to fight a crime wave in Naples in 1997, while they were also deployed in Sicily after a Mafia bomb campaign in 1993-4.
Troops have not been seen in Rome since the “years of lead” in the mid 1970s when the Red Brigades carried out a series of spectacular kidnappings, including the murder of Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro. (See also posts Aldo Moro and The Aldo Moro Case.)
eurotopics has collected reactions of Italian communist daily “Il Manifesto”, Spanish “El Pais”, French “Le Monde” and German “Die Welt” on August 6.
British Guardian closes its article with defence Minister la Russa:
On Thursday, La Russa astonished local authorities in the Sicilian holiday resorts of Taormina and Naxos by hinting that they too may get troops.
“Soldiers?” asked the mayor of Taormina, Mauro Passalacqua. “Have we gone mad?” He said the town had seen just one bag-snatch in the past six weeks, and that the last murder in Taormina was committed in the 1960s.
Beppe Grillo on August 23, pubished on his blog the letter of a Police Services trade union representative, saying:
We do not agree with the use of the military in order to ensure law and order and public safety. We are also against certain provisions that smack of “racism”, as we are against the introduction of the position of the mayor-sheriff, against a number of private, self-protection provisions, such as the vigilante patrols and absolutely against the unjustified and absurd cuts that have been made in the area of law and order. We are talking about three billion Euro in cuts! In addition, those cuts have come precisely at a time that is particularly disastrous for the Police Forces.
See Beppe Grillo’s whole article here.