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3 maggio 2008

Those mayors who all over Italy are in the process of transforming the Vigili Urbani – essentially, Traffic Cops – into real tough guy policemen don’t have much in common either with John Wayne or even with Giancarlo Cito, the excitable southern Italian Lega-style Mayor, who described Mussolini as “A Great Statistician” (he was probably thinking: Statesman) and who armed the Vigili Urbani of Taranto, telling them that they were now “the Musketeers of the Mayor”. Pietro Vignali and Giorgio Pighi, centre right mayor of Parma and centre left mayor of Modena respectively, together with fourteen other mayors have presented the incoming government with a very precise shopping list of demands regarding security: increased powers, more money and greater juridicial protection for their efforts. Silvio Berlusconi who won the recent elections with a very strong mandate on the security issue will now have to ponder his response to the very determined mayors very carefully. In the meantime, Rome’s incoming centre right mayor Gianni Alemanno has already announced his version of the “Zero Tollerance” policy, offering pistols to the local police force with strong traffic enforcement duties. In return, the Vigili agree with him, and don’t feel like Sheriffs at all. (translation by William Ward)

di Salvatore Merlo   –   @SalvatoreMerlo

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