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Rome confirms plans to beef up security

by Laura Di Pillo

After the Paris attacks and the FBI warnings, security concerns are definitely growing in Rome. Yesterday during a press conference unveiling plans and the logo for the Jubilee, Rome’s Prefect Franco Gabrielli confirmed plans to beef up security all over the city and that Rome would be a no-fly zone.

“For the entire holy year, aircraft will be prohibited to fly over a couple of areas of the capital, actually most of the city,” he said.

He also stated that the threat is real and continuous. Commenting about Paris being under risk of bacterial warfare, he said that “as for Rome there is neither a lack of risk nor a guarantee of safety.”

He asked that everyone keep calm without underestimating the danger. He referred to the fact that the government chose not to create any special laws for the time being and that “canceling the Jubilee wouldn’t eliminate the menace because Italy, in any case, is an international place and is also the home of Christianity.”

He made a strong appeal to the Muslim community by saying, “I assume that they will have a zero tolerance attitude - no ifs ands or buts.”

The Jubilee organization continues to take shape.

“This is a serious challenge that we are going to confront and win without extra special procedures,” said Nicola Zingaretti, President of the Lazio region where Rome is located. He recalled that there would be 12 new emergency rooms with 860 new professionals, 100 new ambulances and 10 sophisticated medical areas.

For the regular and extraordinary works in progress for the Holy Year, Francesco Paolo Tronca (the commissioner in charge of the city after Mayor Ignazio Marino resigned) said that construction sites are and will be active 24/7.

Even during big Jubilee events, he added, “work will keep going.”

He promised to finish construction by January 31, 2016 and during the Holy Year public transportation will be improved and the metro and bus lines will run more frequently.