Two police officers were wounded when they are shot while on duty Sunday outside the office of the Prime Minister in Rome at the time Enrico Letta, the Prime Minister and his new government were being sworn in less than a mile away.
No one was sure whether the shootings were linked to the new government’s launch, but the shootings came during a bitter division politically that has brought about social tensions heightened by a long slump in the region’s third largest economy.
Angelino Alfano, the new Interior Minister, said the shooting appears to be just an isolated attack and did not suggest a broader risk to security. However, there were calls for politicians to calm an already volatile public.
Letta is a moderate deputy head of the Democratic Party that is center-left. On Saturday, he ended a political stalemate of nearly two months when he united two former political rivals to form a broad-based coalition government.
The center-left and center-right mix of politicians and technocrats was welcomed in the mainstream press of Italy on Sunday, especially because of the seven ministers who are female and for its makeup of relatively young members.
However, the risks politically that Letta now faces were obvious on Sunday. Renato Brunetta, a close ally of Silvio Berlusconi the leader of the center right and a core stakeholder of the new government, said the new coalition would fail if Letta did not promise in his first speech to abolish the unpopular housing tax and repay taxpayers the levy from 2012.