2 Cops Hurt in Shooting as Italy Gets New PM

Enrico Letta heads coalition government

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 28, 2013 7:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – As Italy's new government was taking the reins in Rome, two police officers were wounded in a shooting near the prime minister's office. One of the officers, who was shot in the neck, is in a serious condition, but it's not life-threatening, Reuters reports. A forty-something man was arrested in the attack; he may suffer from mental problems, police tell the BBC. Whether there's a link between the shooting and the swearing-in remains uncertain. "It's not an act of terrorism," says Rome's mayor, "but certainly the climate of the past few months has not helped."

Rome has been facing political deadlock following a February election without a decisive outcome. Now Enrico Letta, deputy head of the Democratic Party, is the new prime minister, overseeing what's been dubbed a "grand coalition" government. Its future is cloudy. The head of Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party in the country's lower house has demanded that Letta immediately pledge to end to a housing tax and pay citizens back after a tax levy from last year; otherwise, he says, the government is doomed.

Premier Enrico Letta, left, takes the cabinet minister bell handed over by former Premier Mario Monti during a handover ceremony in Rome, Sunday, April 28, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A man believed to be the assailant lies on the ground detained by police after a shootout in Rome, Sunday, April 28, 2013.   (AP Photo/Mauro Scrobogna, Lapresse)
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