• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Italian man ends St Peter's dome protest

AFP · 1 Apr 2014, 09:19

Published: 01 Apr 2014 09:19 GMT+02:00

Marcello Di Finizio was swiftly arrested by the Vatican gendarmerie and, according to Italian media, received treatment for a leg injury incurred when he climbed up on to the dome on Friday.

"It was really cold and I was dead tired," he wrote shortly afterwards on his Facebook page.

Di Finizio, who owns a cafe in the northeastern city of Trieste according to reports, had earlier posted a message saying "they have taken everything from me, but they won't take my dignity as well".

It was Di Finizio's fourth protest on a ledge near the top of the 137-metre (449-foot) dome designed by Michelangelo. In a similar protest last year he stayed up overnight with a banner blaming the Europe Union for his country's ills.

During his latest exploit he unfurled a banner reading: "Help us Pope Francis."

He called on the Italian government to end austerity measures, with the country suffering from record unemployment.

"Stop in the name of God, you are killing us all. Give us back our lives," he said in another Facebook message.

In an interview with The Local last June, he said, "“It’s a disaster in Italy right now and things are only going to get worse."

READ MORE HERE: Life on the ledge: Meet Italy's prolific protester

Suicides linked to the economic crisis make headlines in Italy, where hundreds of thousands of businesses have been forced to close.

Italy returned to growth in the fourth quarter last year after its longest post-war recession, but its jobless rate rose to a record high of 12.9 percent in January, sparking fears that companies are still struggling or unwilling to hire.

Story continues below…

The unemployment rate among 15 to 24-year-olds rose to a record 42.4 percent.

On Friday, Italy's borrowing costs fell in the latest sign of improved investor confidence in the economy but Italians are still suffering tax hikes and other austerity measures imposed as the eurozone debt crisis gripped the country.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised to reboot the economy by reducing taxes, slashing the costs of Italy's bureaucracy and promoting businesses.

Don't miss a story about Italy - Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pope visits Armenian genocide memorial
Francis laid a wreath and prayed at the Tsitsernakaberd site. Photo: AFP

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a rallying cry to protect memory at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, on day two of a trip likely to stir tensions with Turkey.

Italians in the UK: 'After all these years, we feel unwanted'
Thousands of young Italians have moved to London in recent years. Photo: TJ Morris

Italian expats in the UK shared feelings of anger, fear and confusion after Britain voted to leave the EU. And they never even got a say.

How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking to stay in Italy long term? Here's how.

Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
(L) Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, which campaigned for Britain to leave the EU and (R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Photos: Geoff Caddick/Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Britain may have taken a leap into the dark, but this is what's expected in Italy.

Europe needs renovating after Brexit: Renzi
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has called on the remaining EU members to reorganize the EU. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Renzi said it was "not an easy day."

'Brexit is a disaster for Great Britain': WW2 veteran
Harry Shindler MBE. Photo: Rosie Scammell

“I would have thought that 70 years of peace would have been sufficient for people to say ‘we’re not going to change’ anything."

Renzi calls urgent meeting as Italy's far-right rejoice Brexit
Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, summoned the country's top economic minds to his home on Friday morning. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, called an extraordinary meeting on Friday morning as global markets were plunged into turmoil by the UK's shock decision to leave the EU.

Brits in Italy left stunned after UK votes for Brexit
Britons on Thursday voted to leave the EU. Photo: Emanuel Dunand/AFP

Britons in Italy woke up to the shocking news on Friday that the UK has voted to leave the EU, sending the pound crashing and fuelling concerns about their future on the continent.

Venice beaches offer 'sun or your money back' deal
Venice beaches are offering 'weather insurance' in a bid to boost visitor numbers this summer. Photo: Darkbeach/Flickr

Authorities hope the move will attract more beachgoers.

Berlusconi plots Forza Italia relaunch from hospital bed
Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly hoping to relaunch his political party, Forza Italia. Photo: Alberto Solaro/AFP

Following a near-fatal heart attack and surgery to replace his aortic valve, the 80-year-old mogul shows no sign of slowing down.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Culture
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Travel
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
National
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Health
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Travel
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
National
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Politics
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Travel
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Politics
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
2,530
jobs available