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Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Dismay at Genoa's troubles
hooded protesters in front of burning car
Government funds will help repair Genoa
By David Willey in Rome

There is dismay in Rome and in the rest of Italy at the violence in Genoa at the G8 summit.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has promised government funds to pay for the damage caused to the city, while the behaviour of the police is being criticised by the left-wing opposition and defended by the government.

As the summit ends and US President George W Bush begins a brief official visit to Rome, during which he will also meet the Pope, exceptional security precautions are being taken in the Italian capital to prevent a recurrence of the violence which marred the Genoa meeting.

policeman fires teargas
Police tactics have come in for criticism
Italy's interior minister will be reporting to parliament on Monday on the violent events of the weekend.

Sunday's Italian newspapers devote many pages to the protests in Genoa. An editorial in the leading daily, Corriere della Serra, criticises politicians of the extreme left, who joined in the anti-G8 demonstrations, for failing to denounce the small core of anarchists who disrupted all peaceful protest.

The newspaper compares the silence protecting the black-masked youths who brought urban guerrilla warfare to a peaceful city to the wall of silence which protected the Mafia.

Another daily paper, La Repubblica, is strongly critical of the leaders of the world's most powerful democracies. It calls them eight mandarins walled up in the forbidden city.

The eight were profoundly stupid and obtuse to allow such a cold arrogant and supremely useless performance to go ahead, its main editorial says.

Media critical

The newspaper also criticised the police for creating a sort of "Maginot line" instead of isolating the violent trouble makers.

The policeman who shot dead a demonstrator on Friday faces a possible manslaughter charge in a civil court. But former President Cossiga, a professor of law, said the charge was an inconceivable judicial act, inconsistent with the law and morally deplorable.

Francesco Rutelli, the left-wing politician who lost to Mr Berlusconi in the Italian general election in May, said that 100,000 peaceful demonstrators had asked the G8 leaders for answers to their questions - and the leaders had been unable to give a reply.

See also:

22 Jul 01 | Europe
G8 pledges to help poor
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Genoa counts the cost
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Summits must continue - Blair
21 Jul 01 | Europe
Protest death divides Genoese
21 Jul 01 | Media reports
Newspapers lament Genoa violence
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