Venetian Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has announced this week that anybody deemed a terrorist threat will be shot by snipers.
Speaking at Rimini Meeting in north east Italy, a think-tank style conference, Brugnaro was recorded declaring that “If you go to St Mark’s Square, run and shout, we’ll shoot you down after three steps.”
Brugnaro’s comments came days after the latest terrorist attack in Barcelona where fifteen people were killed. On the matter, Brugnaro stated “In contrast with Barcelona, where they had not set up protection, we keep our guard up”, adding that Venetian security would be continually increased “because we must make the city and its citizens feel that we are there, that we are able to react”.
Criticising “naïve optimism” towards dealing with terror attacks, Brugnaro firmly declared “If you want to kill me, I’ll defend myself. We defend ourselves in Venice”. He also went on to reference a foiled terrorist attempt earlier this year, where three men are accused of conspiring to blow up the famous Rialto bridge.
When The Sun contacted the Venice police department they released a statement reading “We never discuss operational security”.
Brugnaro’s speech also comes at a time when the city is preparing for a number of high profile events, including the 74th annual Venice film festival in late August.
Whilst his comments gained approval from delegates at the conference and social media users, Brugnaro has also faced some criticism. This wouldn’t be the first time Brugnaro has split opinions, as in 2015 he asserted “There will never be a Gay Pride [parade] in my city […] Let them go and do it in Milan, or in front of their own homes”.
On the matter, Brugnaro has since added “I have never been politically correct, in fact I am politically correct and that’s why we also need a naval blockade against people coming into Italy from north Africa”. Italy has taken in hundreds of thousands of North Africans migrants, which also lead Interior Minister Marco Minniti to say that “Ungoverned migrant flows are threatening the social and democratic fabric of Italy” earlier this week.
Brugnaro isn’t alone in calling for tighter security measures, with European Parliament boss Antonio Tajani, who was also at Rimini stating “There is too much jealousy and bureaucracy [between EU countries]. Who cares if a secret service gives information to one country or another? Information should flow between European services with a unique structure.”
To read about other methods people hve taken to tackle terrorism, read about this Nazi shaming Twitter account.