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Italy to beef up security after Berlusconi assault

[ 2009-12-17 11:52]     字号 [] [] []  
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Italy's government late on Tuesday said it plans to rush out new measures like blacking out hate sites on the Internet to protect politicians after a weekend assault on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi left him hospitalized.

The 73-year-old billionaire businessman, who is nursing a broken nose, fractured teeth and gashed lips after being hit in the face by a spiked souvenir, was expected to be discharged from the hospital late yesterday with orders to rest for two weeks, his doctor said.

Berlusconi - whose political fortunes look set to gain as a wave of sympathy floods in - put on a brave face in his first public message to Italians since entering hospital.

"I repeat to everyone to stay calm and confident," Berlusconi said in the message to supporters on his website. "Love always wins over jealousy and hatred."

As Italy spent a second day soul-searching over whether a vitriolic political climate prompted the assault, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said the cabinet would tomorrow issue urgent measures to keep Italians and their leaders safe.

Citing the risk of a "dangerous spiral of copycat attacks" and absolving security forces of all blame, Maroni said the government is considering obscuring Web sites or social network groups that incite violence.

It will also consider new rules for gatherings in public places.

Conservative lawmakers have been incensed by Facebook groups that have sprung up praising Massimo Tartaglia, the 42-year-old Berlusconi assailant with a history of mental illness.

Tartaglia has written to him apologizing for his "cowardly and rash act". But allies say the normally irrepressible premier is badly shaken and at one point even asked a visiting priest: "Why do they hate me to this point?"


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Italy to beef up security after Berlusconi assault

About the broadcaster:

Italy to beef up security after Berlusconi assault

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.