In brief

“Away from Rome”: independence slogans written with fire on mountains in South Tyrol

Protesters criticise centralization of management of coronavirus crisis in Italy

"Los vom Rom".
"Los vom Rom". Author: Schützenkompanie Johann-Jaeger Niederdorf Süd Tirol
Several independence slogans have appeared in the mountains of South Tyrol, written with fire, on the night of 2 to 3 May, amidst criticism against of what secessionists understand to be a centralized management of the coronavirus crisis by the Italian government.

“Los von Rom” (“Away from Rome”), one of the traditional slogans of the South Tyrolean independence movement, can be read in fire. Another burning script reads “Iatz reichts” (“Enough is enough”).

The protest has been carried out by the Schützen, the organization has said on its website and on a Facebook post. The Schützen are a conservative pro-independence group inspired by a former Tyrolean militia.

Right-wing independence party South Tyrol Freedom (Süd-Tiroler Freiheit, STF) has also shared the images on the social network while describing the action “a clear message in hard times.”

The Schützen claim that the Italian government’s management of the crisis is “catastrophic”, denounce that the semi-autonomous powers of the South Tyrolean self-government are not being respected, and recall that death figures “in Austria and Germany are much less significant.” Belonging to Italy is “fatal,” the group’s statement concludes.

The action took place two nights before the Italian government’s Minister for Regional Affairs, Francesco Boccia, will meet South Tyrolean authorities in Bolzano to analyse whether an understanding could be reached on the measures to ease the coronavirus lockdown.

The provincial government, led by the autonomist South Tyrolean People’s Party (Südtiroler Volkspartei, SVP), wants to push through its own law on how to lift coronavirus restrictions in the autonomous Assembly this week. But the Italian government prefers to delay a few more weeks any differences between territories in the approach to the easing of restrictions.