---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2002 15:53:29 -0800
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Red Brigades justify execution
Red Brigades justify 'execution'
March 21, 2002
ROME Italy -- A group claiming to be an offshoot of the Red Brigades
guerrilla movement in Italy has posted a 26-page document on the Internet
explaining why it "executed" a top government adviser.
Marco Biagi, 52, was shot dead on Tuesday in Bologna with the same pistol
used to kill another government aide in 1999, the interior minister said.
"An armed nucleus of our organisation executed Marco Biagi," the document
released on Thursday says.
Biagi was targeted, it says, because his work as a consultant to the labour
minister made him part of a government that "represents the interests of
In its diatribe against modern capitalism, the group accused Biagi of
"exploiting" workers with the labour reforms he had co-authored.
The message described Biagi's reforms as a "regulation of the exploitation
of salaried workers."
It also makes several references to the September 11 terror attacks on the
U.S. and appears to praise the "strategic context that showed that a highly
destructive attack can be inflicted to the heart of the enemy's territory."
It criticises the U.S. "imperialistic" response which it describes as a
"warmongering projection...aimed at resolving, in a definitive way, the
subjection of Iraq."
The document was e-mailed to an independent regional news agency, Caserta
24 Ore, which posted it on its Web site www.caserta24ore.it.
Biagi, a professor at the University of Modena and an adviser to the
European Commission in
employment and social affairs, was a strong proponent and one of the
authors of controversial labour reforms.
The government says they are necessary to create more jobs in a flexible
labour market and bring Italy into line with the rest of Europe. Unions say
the reforms would make it easier to fire workers.
Biagi, who will receive a state funeral at the weekend, was shot dead
outside his apartment building by gunmen on a motorscooter.
Shortly afterwards, the Red Brigades claimed responsibility in an anonymous
phone call to a Bologna newspaper.
Interior Minister Claudio Scajola said the killing was an attempt to break
apart Italian society while Prime Minister Silvio Berlsuconi vowed to press
on with the controversial employment laws favoured by Biagi.
Pope John Paul condemned the killing, telling pilgrims at a regular Vatican
audience it was "barbarous."
And on Wednesday, thousands of demonstrators held a candle light vigil in
Rome calling for an end to terrorism.
The 15,000-strong procession, including politicians, church groups and
union leaders, was initially planned to address the Middle East conflict.
But it was broadened at the last minute to condemn terrorism after the
killing of Biagi.
The Red Brigades, a left-wing terrorist group, carried out a wave of bloody
attacks in the 1970s, including the notorious murder of Prime Minister Aldo
Moro in 1978.
In 1999 the group murdered Massimo D'Antona, another senior government
It suffered military defeat in the 1980s but has occasionally resurfaced
since, the D'Antona killing being its most high profile attack.
Scajola said police tests revealed the gun used to kill Biagi was the same
used to shoot D'Antona.
"The history of the Red Brigades show...there is a strong link between the
murders of D'Antona and Biagi and the older terrorism," Scajola told RAI
Berlusconi has called for a resumption of negotiations with unions and
employers over the labour reform plans.
But Italy's main labour unions have decided to proceed with a plan for a
general strike in protest at the reforms next month.
The day before his murder, Biagi wrote an editorial for leading economic
daily Il Sole 24 Ore accusing the unions of being against European
integration by opposing labour reform.
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