On Monday, the 30th of January, the University of Bologna has had a very special guest for the opening of the academic year, the Italian Head of State Giorgio Napolitano. Around 250 students and far-left activists protested against him for his behaviour during the handover of power that allowed Mario Monti to become the new Italian Prime Minister.
They accuse him of being the author, together with ECB and IMF, of Monti government, and of using his credibility as a “good and wise” politician to rise the popularity of austerity policies. Since the start of the Italian new course with Mario Monti as PM, Napolitano has progressively embodied his role as constitutional guarantee, an institutional figure whose role is to reassure citizens about a future that is, indeed, quite uncertain. And this – the students say – is inadmissible when speaking about an unelected government, nominated to protect financial powers rights against the risk of an Italian default.Furthermore Napolitano’s credibility is controversial. During his political history he has been heavily criticized, especially for the well-known law “Turco-Napolitano” about immigration.
Two rallies tried to reach the ceremony site, but every road was guarded by hundreds of policemen. A student and a journalist were slightly wounded by a police charge during one of the attempts to get closer. “That’s how they face dissent”, the protesters declared.