How do France and Italy protect their elected officials from attacks? – .

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How do France and Italy protect their elected officials from attacks? – .


The murder of Sir David Amess in the UK has raised questions about the protection of MPs and other senior officials. Euronews journalists Alessio Dell »Anna and Héloïse Urvoy examined how France and Italy guarantee the safety of their elected officials.
French MPs do not have bodyguards except in cases of repeated and serious threats against them, Urvoy said. But episodes of violence with angry voters are not uncommon.

60 French deputies were attacked in 2020 alone, according to the French Interior Ministry.

The tragic murder of Sir David Amess found a strong echo in France, with a 23% increase in physical attacks against local elected officials, mayors and MPs between 2019 and 2020.

Last April, France introduced new legislation to implement more severe and dissuasive sanctions against those who assault official representatives.

Dell’Anna said it was “quite difficult for voters to access MPs in Italy”. Nevertheless, around 82 politicians were under police protection in Italy in 2019.

The opposition leader Matteo Salvini or now the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, for example, have been victims of attacks in recent years. In 2009, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was injured by an object thrown at him.

In the first six months of this year, Italy recorded 369 episodes of intimidation or violence against local officials such as mayors or councilors, an increase of 15% over the year last.

Violence against national officials is more likely to come from an isolated attacker with a political or ideological motive, while violence at the local level is often linked to organized crime, Dell’Anna said.

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