Published: 2011/12/15 06:47:24 AM
LETTER bombs and bullets mailed to officials have prompted Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to warn of political violence returning to Italy.
Terrorism in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s, a period of bombs and bullets dubbed the Years of Lead, claimed hundreds of lives.
An official with Equitalia, Italy’s tax-collection agency, was wounded in the hand and face by a letter bomb last Friday, a day after Italian anarchists said they had tried to injure Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann with a similar device. Letters with bullets sent to Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno and Justice Minister Paola Severino were found this week.
“Threats and intimidation represent strategies of other eras that can’t and mustn’t return,” Mr Monti said yesterday.
The tension comes as Mr Monti, a former adviser to Goldman Sachs, seeks to push through a €30bn austerity programme by Christmas before taking steps next year to liberalise the labour market, an issue that led Red Brigades terrorists to kill two officials a decade ago.
Italy’s parliamentary committee for intelligence, security services and state control would discuss the recent incidents in Rome today, said Giuseppe Esposito, the body’s deputy chairman. While the events “are in no way comparable to the terrorist groups of the 1970s”, the media had reported only a “fraction” of the threats, Mr Esposito said. “I’ve received a similar letter myself.”
In the 1970s and 1980s, Italy suffered terrorism of all political stripes, from the 1980 bombing of Bologna’s railway station by neofascists, which killed 85 people, to the murder of former prime minister Aldo Moro in 1978 by Marxist-inspired Red Brigades militants.
In recent days, anarchist groups have spray-painted Rome bank s with slogans such as “Down with banker thieves!”
Police arrested five members of far-right group Militia yesterday. They are accused of “actions” against Rome’s Jewish community as well as against Mr Alemanno, parliament speakers Gianfranco Fini and Renato Schifani, and former US president George Bush.