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

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Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi speaks at a press conference in March 2023. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

Italy's interior minister regrets police violence against teenage protesters, government plans crackdown on student attacks on teachers, and more news from around Italy on Friday.


Italy's top news story on Friday:

Italian interior minister calls police violence against teenage protesters 'a defeat'

Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi on Thursday called a series of violent clashes between police officers and teenage pro-Palestine demonstrators in Pisa and Florence last Friday "a defeat". 

Piantedosi said he was "disturbed by the images of the clashes" and his ministry was open to "full analysis and self-criticism", though he warned that the involved police forces shouldn't be "subjected to summary trials".

A total of 10 protesters, of whom at least two under the age of 18, were hospitalised following last Friday's events – an episode which sparked widespread outrage in Italy, even drawing a formal reprimand from Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Pisa prosecutors on Tuesday opened an inquiry into the behaviour of 19 of the police officers involved in the incidents.

Italy sees year-on-year rise in workplace accidents

Some 42,166 workplace accidents, including 45 deaths, were filed in Italy last January – up by 6.8 percent against January 2023, Italy's National Work Insurance Institute (Inail) said on Thursday. 

Inail also said that reports of occupational disease have seen a 30.7-percent year-on-year increase.

Workplace safety has been at the centre of political discussions in Italy lately after a collapse at a building site in Florence on February 18th left five workers dead and three seriously injured.

In the wake of the accident, cabinet ministers met to work on new measures to lower workplace accidents, including harsher penalties for illegal and undeclared labour and the introduction of a points-based licence for contractors linked to compliance with health and safety regulation.


Government plans crackdown on student attacks on school teaching staff

School pupils who physically attack their teachers could soon face fines up to €10,000 under a government amendment approved by the Senate culture committee on Thursday. 

Classroom attacks on teaching staff have made national news headlines in recent weeks after a teacher was stabbed in the back three times by a 17-year-old student in Varese, north of Milan.

Earlier this month a survey by research agency Eurispes found that one in four Italian high-school teachers has been attacked by a student at least once in their careers.

The Senate culture committee will have until Tuesday, March 5th to submit the amendment with parliament.


Reggia di Caserta palace gets 3,000-square-metre ‘extension’

Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday inaugurated the opening to the public of a new 3,000-square-metre wing of the Reggia di Caserta – the former royal residence of Naples’ House of Bourbon, commonly referred to as the ‘Italian Versailles’. 

The opening ceremony followed intensive restoration work in the palace’s Grand Gallery, in the western section of the building.

Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano, who attended the ceremony, said: "These are places that ooze history and have now been restored to their original destiny and splendour."

The UNESCO-listed Reggia di Caserta is the largest palace built in Europe in the 18th century.


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