Italian army to occupy Naples?

On Oct. 30, activists in Naples rallied at the local Mexican consulate in protest of the repression in Oaxaca, where Mexican President Vicente Fox has sent in a massive force of federal police. (Chiapas IMC) But Naples itself may soon be facing a similar dilemma. Following a crime wave which has left 12 dead over the past ten days, Prime Minister Romano Prodi is under growing pressure to send the army to patrol the southern port city. To his credit, he is thus far resisting the pressure. Meanwhile, the openly chauvinist Northern League frames the problem in its typically helpful and sensitive way. From AGI, Nov. 2:

Rome, Nov. 2 – The government is taking action against the crime-related emergency in Naples. Today Romano Prodi will be in the capital of the Campania region, while tomorrow it will be Amato’s turn. The premier, who had a long telephone call with Italian president Napolitano, said: “The head of state and I have agreed on an efficient plan. The army? I don’t believe it can fight criminality. ” In his opinion, “criminality stems from corruption in the economic and business worlds.” There is much debate surrounding the case of the 16-year-old murderer [in suburban] Pozzuoli who was transferred to a rehabilitation community [after knifing to death an 18-year-old in an argument over a girlfriend]. Justice Minister Mastella has called for checks into the decision by the preliminary investigative judge to grant the young man the right to [trial] in the community. Much is also being said about the words of the Northern League member Roberto Calderoli: “Seeing as Naples is a sewer at the moment, it is necessary to get rid of all the rats,” said the former minister.

See our last posts on Italy and Europe’s crime wars.