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Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

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Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Relatives of the victims of the deadly Cutro shipwreck have announced plans to sue the Italian government. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

Sardinia set to elect regional president, families of Cutro shipwreck victims plan to sue government, and more news from around Italy on Tuesday.


Italy's top story on Tuesday:

Centre-left candidate set to win Sardinia regional elections by narrow margin

Sardinia's centre-left candidate for governor, Alessandra Todde, was poised to win the island's regional elections by a hair's breadth on Tuesday morning, with 45.3 percent of the vote compared to centre-right rival Paolo Truzzu's 45 percent.

If confirmed, it will be the first time the region has elected a woman to the role of president and the first time a politician from the populist Five Star Movement has held the role of regional governor.

"Sardinia has chosen our Alessandra Todde. She is the first regional president of the M5s, the first woman to lead Sardinia. It is an unforgettable day", said Five Star Movement leader and former Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

55-year-old Todde, from the Sardinian province of Nuoro, is an entrepreneur and manager who focused her election campaign on anti-fascism. "I am happy and proud, history is being written," the candidate told journalists.

Top Italian general investigated for race hate and fraud

The Rome Prosecutor's Office on Monday opened an investigation into the head of Italy's Land Operations Forces Command for inciting racial hatred, just days after the Military Prosecutor's Office launched its own investigation for embezzlement and fraud.

In a self-published book released last August, General Roberto Vannacci wrote of Black Italian volleyball champion Paola Egonu, "She is Italian by citizenship, but it is clear that her facial features do not represent Italianness.” He also described gay people as "abnormal", going on to list a series of LGBT+ slurs.

Vannacci was removed from his post as head of the Italian paratroopers brigade after the book's publication prompted an outcry, but was installed in his current position at the start of December.

The Military Prosecutor's Office is looking into allegations that the general falsely claimed expenses for meals and activities that never took place while in his previous post as military attaché to Moscow, as well as claiming a family foreign service allowance despite his wife and daughters remaining in Italy.


Families of Cutro shipwreck victims to sue Italian government

Relatives of people killed in a shipwreck off the coast of southern Italy last year have announced plans to file a civil compensation suit against the government for failure to provide assistance and damages suffered due to the disaster.

At least 94 people died in the February 26, 2023 disaster after an overcrowded wooden ship fell apart in stormy weather off the Italian town of Cutro in the southern Calabrian region, making it Italy's deadliest shipwreck since 2013.

Questions were raised in the aftermath of the incident about the Italian coastguard's failure to intervene despite having been alerted to the ship's presence by Frontex.

A report published by a group of rescue organisations earlier this month estimated that the deaths of approximately 3,000 people who drowned in the Mediterranean last year were a direct result of EU policies.



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