The Strategist

Rome is Tested to Handle Fear

11/19/2015 - 17:42

Thursday, November 19, Head of Europol, Rob Wainwright said that most likely Europe will be exposed to new attacks. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation warned about possible attacks in the Apennines. Potential targets were named Vatican, the Dome Cathedral of Milan and Teatro alla Scala. However, the Italians have guessed the threat of terrorist attacks without FBI warnings.

The very next day after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Italy increased security measures by the second, the penultimate level. The first level is introduced only in case of a terrorist attack.

Now, the whole center of Rome is guarded by military squads. Police with dogs appeared in the subway. Uniformed people held rifles ready when checking cars. If necessary, they are going to immediately shoot at the wheels. Italy have not seen something like this for a long time. The older generation remembers the children's fears period of "Red Brigades" - underground leftist organizations operating in Italy from 1970 to 1988. Anxiety is growing, and this morning one of the two lines of Rome's metro was closed because of the false alarm about a bomb.

Against this background, the authorities have made considerable efforts to prevent panic. "We will not change the constitution and will not give up our habits," - said Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on television. Apparently, he did not like the term "war", used by French President Francois Hollande. "We need to live a normal life," - calls the Roman prefect of police Franco Gabrielli. "On Sunday, I was in a movie and pizza, and I am glad that there were a lot of people," - said the Interior Minister Angelino Alfano. Recognizing that today "there‚Äôs no place one hundred percent safe," the minister is trying  to calm Italy down. He said the country with its "symbols of Christianity" is always in a high risk zone, due to what the country's law enforcement agencies are well-trained.

However, despite of all the assurances, the former Roman town hall councilor Alfonso Sabella is concerned. He is worrying about fact that staff of the municipal police has a third less people than necessary. Recently police of Rome was strengthened by 700 people. Still, agents of the municipal police, "well-oriented in their territory", are indispensable in this situation. We should not forget that Rome meets the current situation weakened by after the corruption scandal around the "capital of Mafia," and without a mayor.

Nevertheless, Rome is preparing to host visitors and pilgrims of an extraordinary jubilee year, announced by Pope Francis. The festive starts on December 8th. According to Vatican, about 50 thousand people have already booked places at the celebrations. Cancellation of the event is out of question. Moreover, the Pontiff said that the doors of all the churches - and this is the symbol of the anniversary celebrations - will be open to all.

It was already promised that the sky will be closed over the city during the period of the celebrations. Also, every UAV emerged will be shot.