Saturday 21 October 2017

Tax office staff fear for safety after wave of attacks

Nick Pisa in Rome

Soldiers may be brought in to protect Italian tax offices and other sensitive sites following an increase in violence as the country struggles through austerity measures.

In the past six months there has been a wave of countrywide attacks on offices of Equitalia, the agency that handles tax collection, with the most recent on Saturday night, when a branch was hit with two petrol bombs.

Staff have also expressed fears for their personal safety, with increasing numbers calling in sick and with one unidentified employee telling Italian TV: "I have told my son not to say where I work or tell anyone what I do for a living."

In another incident last week, Roberto Adinolfi, a director with arms firm Finmeccanica, was wounded by anarchists in Genoa. The group later said in a letter claiming responsibility that they would carry out further attacks.

Tensions

Annamaria Cancellieri, the interior minister, said she was considering calling in the army in a bid to quell the rising social tensions.

"There have been several attacks on the offices of Equitalia in recent weeks. I want to remind people that attacking Equitalia is the equivalent of attacking the State," she said in an interview with 'La Repubblica' newspaper.

"Bringing in the army to defend sensitive targets is a possibility that we are studying. This has already been done in the past. We have a limited number of personnel available and so that is why using the army is a possible solution."

Saturday night's attack took place on the Equitalia office in Livorno and the front of the building was left severely damaged by fire after the bombs exploded.

It came just 24 hours after more than 200 people had been involved in running battles with police outside a branch in Naples, which left a dozen protesters and officers hurt. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Irish Independent

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