Senegalese immigrant Ousseynou Sy (47) was held by Carabinieri police after hijacking a bus with schoolchildren for subsequently setting ablaze in an apparent murder attempt, sources close to investigation said.
According to an initial reconstruction, the assailant hijacked the bus with 51 pupils from school in the northern Italian province of Cremona.
The suspect has been named as Ousseynou Sy, with a criminal record who is originally from Senegal, in 2004 granted Italian citizenship.
The perpetrator also explained he wished to commit suicide afterwards to “stop the deaths in the Mediterranean,” the sources said.
“No one will survive,” Ousseynou Sy threatened after hijacking the vehicle, according to Carabinieri Provincial Commander Luca De Marchis. After being stopped by police, he jumped off the bus and set it ablaize, presumably premeditating the act by pouring inflammable liquid inside.
But the Carabinieri managed to get the children out by smashing windows at the back, the sources said. Before being stopped, the suspect had also tried to ram through a road block. Twelve children and two adults were taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation. The bus has burnt out.
A teacher who was with the children said that it was not the first time Sy worked as a driver with pupils on board.
“We knew him” the teacher said, adding that the hijacker was angry about the government’s migrant policy. According to the teacher the hostage situation occurred when Sy intended to get to Milan’s Airport Linate.
“A Senegalese with Italian citizenship behind a wheel of a school bus, with precedents for driving in the state of intoxication and sexual assault, hijacked the vehicle and finally set fire to him. It happened in the province of Milan. The man was arrested.” Matteo Salvini, Italian Interior Minister wrote in his Twitter micro blog.
“Right now the Police are searching his house. I want to see clear: why did a person with similar precedents drove a vehicle to transport children?” Salvini added.
Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that the Memorandum of understanding his government has scheduled to sign for China‘s Belt and Road Initiative during Chinese President Xi Jinping visit this week is risk free. The initiative is a huge infrastructure plan that aiming at construction of a modern Silk Road to connect China with Europe and Africa.
“The attention to economic and trade terms is totally legitimate,” Conte told the Parliament as he reported to the lawmakers ahead of this week’s EU Summit in Brussels. “And it is justified precisely because of our national interests. We can boost our exports to a market of an enormous size”, Prime Minister explained.
“The content of the memorandum, which was negotiated for months with China involving all the interested administrations, does not feature any risk for our national interest and is fully in line with the EU‘s strategy”, Conte ensured.
With the slogan ‘make sure we don’t become like Venice‘, they do not mean that they sink into the water, but drown under mass tourism. With a tourist tax the city of Doges hopes to avert the disaster. Will that work and, if so, who will follow the Venetian example, Knack magazine inquires, rising issue of problems of mass tourism.
Venice suffers as consequence its own beauty. On the Rialto Bridge, in front of the Doge’s Palace or on San Marco, for example, it is teeming with tourists every day. If the sun is out, the “ant’s nest” will be even more dense.
“Nobody wants to be like Venice anymore,” the Spanish portal El Confidencial recently wrote in an article about mass tourism becoming problematic. However, the Municipality of Venice hopes to have an effective solution: entrance fees. That is “a measure that you won’t find anywhere else in the world,” says Mayor Luigi Brugnaro.
When the initiative is put into practice, it is not yet certain, but according to Mr Brugnaro it may already be introduced this summer. If that succeeds, then every visitor to Venice must pay three euros (€3) this year.
Next year, that amount must rise to six euros (€6). Depending on the season or an exceptional tourist excess, that amount can be elevated up to eight euros (€8). In between high touristic seasons the entrance falls back to three euros (€3). Those who have booked a hotel in the city do not have to pay the tourist tax, the measure will be applied only to day travelers.
Illegal migrants who were refused by Italy for several days after being rescued in the Mediterranean (August 2018) have filed two legal petitions against their treatment a pro Deo lawyer representing their interest said.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has encouraged the government’s tough stance on migrants, refused to let the asylum seekers off the ship during a standoff with the European Union, demanding the other member-states to demonstrate solidarity, and host some of the migrants.
Catania prosecutors wanted to press ahead with criminal charges against Salvini in relation to this but this week the immunity panel of the Senate voted down the permission for the case to proceed.
“The aim of the petition is not to obtain damages, but to ascertain whether conduct that did not comply with the law took place,” lawyer Alessandro Ferrara said.
“The damages could be a symbolic amount of one euro. The important thing is that clarification is obtained on that conduct“. Petitions to a Rome court and to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have been presented by 42 migrants who were on the Diciotti vessel.
Lega economy wizard Claudio Borghi said that Italy should consider leaving the European Union if the bloc does not change radically following European elections. in May.
“I think that this is the last chance. If, after the European elections, the same mandarins led by Germany are the ones driving the economic, social and migratory policies, for the sole benefit of Germany and to our detriment, I’ll say we should leave,” Borghi said.
“We either manage to change it or we’ll have to come out“. The Lega MP said the EU project was a “failure” and “toxic for Italy”. “If the environment remains toxic, I’ll say let’s get out,” Borghi warned.
“We have no intention of leaving Europe, we want to change it, improve it, but not abandon it,” Salvini said in a texted statement, clarifying his position.
MEPs will exchange views on the future of Europe with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday at 17.00.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte leaving the Europarliament studio where he had an interview with European Youth. He refuses questions of press, under pretext that he is in a hurry to meet the President and MEPs to debate The Future of Europe.
In a plenary debate on the Future of Europe, the Italian Prime Minister said: “This is a valuable opportunity to reverse the process of detachment between rulers and governed, which if fed could lead to the European project imploding”. The prerequisite for relaunching it, are “solidarity and cohesion between the member states”.
Prime minister focused on different aspects of the EU foreign policy, in first ranks challenges of African multiple crisis, causing migration, but also paid a lot of attention to Venezuela problems, he also mentioned the need of more coordinated approach to foreign policy, for example a need to receive a common EU seat in the UN Security Council. Among priorities he underlined the significance of strengthening relations with the United States, an imperative of a strong dialogue with Russia and China and the creation of a meaningful European common defence.
In spite of explaining at length the Italian position towards Venezuela, it was Africa to absorbing the central place of Italian foreign policy. Through his speech and in the debate with MEPs Prime minister Conte underlined the paramount significance of Africa for European future, underlining that in spite of all efforts the EU border guards, or asylum policy are in modality of coping with consequences of multiple crisis Africa suffers. He insisted on intensifying aid to African states, build on new partnerships, and aimed at assistance in crisis resolution. Concerned with human dignity, Conte underlined that fighting African poverty is one of the biggest challenge for the EU future.
A bitter regret of absence of EU solidarity has been a bitter refrain thorough the speech and debate with MEP, Prime minister blamed the EU a great deal of hypocrisy in handling the migration crisis, producing declarations, but failing to deliver upon promises.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government recalled France ambassador to Rome Christian Masset on February 7 in an unprecedented act since World War II , saying it had enough with “repeated, baseless” attacks by Italian political leaders against France.
The decision came after a meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister and leaders of the French Yellow Vest movement who have been calling for President Macron’s resignation.
Luigi di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement welcomed the “winds of change across the Alps” yesterday on Twitter after meeting with Yellow Vest activists Cristophe Chalencon and Ingrid Levavasseur.
The vise-president of the European Parliament Fabio Castaldo has also taken part in the meeting. (Pictured below: first from right).
In a statement on the decision, France’s foreign ministry blamed Italian officials of making “outrageous statements” and “repeated, baseless attacks” for months.
The statement said the attacks were without precedent since World War II. “Having disagreements is one thing, but manipulating the relationship for electoral aims is another,” it said.
“All of these actions are creating a serious situation which is raising questions about the Italian government’s intentions towards France,” diplomats added, making clear that Paris is increasingly worried by Di Maio and Salvini’s vocal support for the anti-establishments protest movement.
Ambassador Christian Masset (pictured above) arrived to Rome on 6 of December 2017. As a carreer diplomat he previously served as an Ambassador to Japan, and held other prominent positions in Foreign Affairs Ministry working in Brussels, London, and Pretoria.