Fury at the heart of Europe. Italians have reacted strongly to their nation’s condemnation at the European Court of Human Rights. It wants crucifixes removed from schools, but the opposition to what many are calling an “interfering” Brussels crosses party lines. The foreign minister called the ruling a “mortal blow for a Europe of values and rights.”
“I don’t believe that it’s a bad thing, even if I’m a non-believer, but we do live in a catholic, christian country…” “To ban them from the walls is unfair, and so is taking them down,” were two ordinary people’s opinions. The European Court’s ruling was sparked by a case brought by an Italian woman who complained her children had to attend a school with publicly-displayed crucifixes. Italy’s European Policy Minister Andrea Ronchi says no good will come of it: “It’s a ruling that has been very badly received. To deny the cross is to deny Europe and Italy’s christian roots.” The Vatican agrees, saying the ruling was greeted with “shock and sadness”, and that it was “wrong and myopic” to exclude a symbol of charity from education.