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The terrorists of the years of lead, potatoes of discord in the relations Italy-France

The Italian government's desire to repatriate the terrorists present in France is reviving tensions that are thirty years old.

Italy is actively seeking its citizens accused of committing crimes during the lead years, from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Far-right groups such as the Red Brigades or the Communist Armed Proletarians had It was a time of bloody attacks, the most emblematic of which was the assassination of the head of the Council of Ministers Aldo Moro in 1978.

Some of these terrorists managed to flee Italian justice. Their number today is estimated to be around 30 in the world, according to the Italian Security and Terrorism Research Center (CRST). Half of them would be in France. Marina Petrella, sentenced to life for the murder of a police commissioner and the sequestration of a magistrate, owes his presence to the refusal of Nicolas Sarkozy to extradite him. Giorgio Pietrostefani, implicated in the assassination of Commissioner Luigi Calabresi, still lives in Paris. Former members of the Red Brigades like Simonetta Giogieri, Carla Vendetti or Sergio Tornaghi live in France, sheltered from the justice of their native country.

1985: the speech that exposes the Mitterrand doctrine

This high number of Italian convicts present in France can be explained on the one hand by the geographical proximity and on the other by the French asylum policy. In 1985, during a speech in Rennes, President Mitterrand announced that he would not extradite terrorists "Repentant" having renounced all forms of violence and having not shed blood. While receiving the visit of the President of the Italian Council, he said: "If the Italian judges send us serious files proving that there has been a blood crime, and if the French justice gives a positive opinion, then we will accept extradition. "

This asylum policy, better known as the Mitterrand doctrine, has been criticized on the other side of the Alps. As a result, France has long been suspected of hiding these terrorists by ideological acquaintance. With time, the French rulers have distanced themselves from this doctrine, allowing the extradition of Paolo Persichetti in 2002, and Cesare Battisti in 2007.

End of the run for Cesare Battisti

A source of tension in French-Italian relations

"The party is over for the delinquents. Now we are waiting for Emmanuel Macron to return the criminals who have fled to France to escape the Italian justice system. The capture of Cesare Battisti is only a beginning »declared Matteo Salvini on January 14, 2019, the day after Battisti's arrest in Bolivia. The Interior Minister has multiplied since the attacks on France where terrorists, fourteen according to him, "Drink champagne under the Eiffel Tower".

France recalls ambassador to Italy after "unprecedented attacks"

In the political competition between a 5-star Movement in decline and the League in constant progress, point finger Emmanuel Macron France has become the favorite game of the ruling coalition; a game in which the one who outbids wins the game. Matteo Salvini loudly proclaims his goal of incarcerating those who have committed crimes on Italian soil. For the time being, the French Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet assures "Officially received no request from the Italian Government".

Matthieu Lasserre

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