Rioting in the Southern Italian town of Reggio Calabria intensified today (15 February) as the hour neared for the decision to be taken on the capital of the new Calabria region.
Rioting in the Southern Italian town of Reggio Calabria intensified today (15 February) as the hour neared for the decision to be taken on the capital of the new Calabria region. Shots were fired at police as they moved in to break up yet another demonstration, a warning that if Reggio is not chosen the rioting may take on uglier proportions. A good natural sound track accompanies this film of the demonstrations.
SYNOPSIS: The rioting in Reggio Calabria is getting worse as the times nears for the decision on which town is to be the capital of the new region of Calabria. Riot police have been called out for the fourth day in succession to control the rioters in this defiant Southern Italian city, and now they've had to contend with gunshots. The shooting incidents came after police, using tear gas, fought a two-hour battle with stone-throwing demonstrators in the centre of the city.
The strikes and rioting have flared sporadically here in Reggio over the past seven months -- at least four people have been killed and hundreds injured so far. It's all part of the city's campaign to be named capital of the Calabria region, instead of the much smaller town of Catanzaro. But of the 40 members of the Regional Council that is to make the decision on Monday, more than half are expected to favour the smaller town. So more trouble can be expected here, and of a more serious nature, if the threats of the extremists are anything to go by.
Much of the anger of the demonstrators on Monday was aimed at Prime Minister Emilio Colombo. They were furious at his proposed compromise solution, which would make Caranzaro the capital, but would give Reggio big industrial investments, creating more than 10,000 new jobs, plus the seat of the Regional Council. Another town, Cosenza, would be given a new university.
Hundreds of riot police are patrolling the city in convoys to deal with the scattered trouble spots. 21 people at least were detained during the evening, and 24 policemen injured. And after the Council decides, it could get worse.