The Italian government’s decision to use soldiers to patrol city streets in an effort to curb crime has earned support from several quarters and cries of militarism from others.
The government says the deployment of 2,500 troops, some of whom have served in Afghanistan and Kosovo, is a bid to bolster the police in difficult urban areas.
Turin’s mayor Sergio Chiamparino said:” I think that militarising a city can be a counter-productive message. It can only increase people’s fear instead of diminishing it.”
But his Milan counterpart Letizia Moratti said: “Italy’s soldiers are used to working in such environments because they have experience of peacekeeping missions.”
Elsewhere, the Italian army is coming to the aid of rubbish-strewn Naples. It has opened a dump to dozens of lorries bringing in rubbish from the area, under a government plan to resolve the southern region’s chronic rubbish waste disposal crisis.
The tip is just one of ten to be created despite an outbreak of “Nimbyism” or “not in my backyard” protests by local residents who do not want Neapolitan rubbish figuratively dumped on their doorsteps.