The danger that Italy could be the next country to be attacked is certainly being taken very seriously there. Corriera della Sera leads with “Blitz antiterrorismo in tutta Italia” (which I imagine I don’t need to translate). For english language readers AFP are carrying this story:
Italian police were carrying out a country-wide anti-terrorism operation early Wednesday, a day after the government announced a series of measures aimed at preventing a London-style attack, the ANSA news agency reported.
Hundreds of police and paramilitary Carabinieri officers were searching homes and buildings in several cities in northern Italy as well as in the southern port of Naples and on the island of Sicily, the agency said.
Just returning briefly to the economic implications of terrorism, I want to re-iterate that stock market reactions form only part of the picture, there is also a ‘real economy’ to think about, and here consumer confidence will be important. What will be the impact in the UK of the fact they were suicide bombers (for example). The jury is still out, and will be till late autumn at the earliest. Italy is another case in point. An attack now might well have serious economic consequences, indeed even the threat of one (which is where we are now) complicates the economic picture significantly.
Update 20:15 CET
The Italian Interior Minister has announced that 174 people have been arrested.