Italy’s new government comprised of members from the left and right was sworn into power on Sunday ending two-months of political turmoil, but the event was marred by the shooting of two police officers outside of the Prime Minister’s office in Rome.
Enrico Letta is due to address the Italian parliament later on Monday and will face a confidence vote in the chamber of deputies before being allowed to officially to form his new government. A government comprised of an uneasy alliance between the left-wing Democratic Party and the right-wing People of Freedom party led by Silvio Berlusconi.
On Sunday as Letta gathered his new cabinet at the Presidential palace for their swearing in ceremony a gunman opened fire on police officers outside of the PM’s Rome offices. One officer was wounded in the neck and the other in the leg before the shooter was wrestled to the ground.
The 49-year-old assailant told investigators he wanted to shoot politicians after losing his job during Italy’s worst recession in more than 20 years.
The attack “doesn’t bode well because it’s a reflection of the discontent in the country, which is suffering from the recession and the austerity wanted by Monti,” said Giuseppe Di Taranto, professor of financial history at Rome’s Luiss University. “The tax pressure has gone too far and many people are desperate.”
The incident highlights the challenges faced by the new Prime Minister, who now faces the task of trying to keep the divided political parties together in a grand coalition government and to try and sort out the country’s economic mess. He inherits an economy that is in its eight consecutive quarter of contraction and one that sees a jobless rate of almost 12%, its highest level in 20 years.
The Euro has risen against the US Dollar as a result of the end to the two-month long stalemate and Italian bonds saw success at their auction. The currency could however begin to make losses asa string of Eurozone economic data released on Monday has shown that the region has contracted further in April.
As of 12:35 pm GMT
The Euro to Pound Sterling exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 0.8429
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.3082
The Euro to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.2651
The Euro to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.5294
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