Italy to tighten security after Berlin attack

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 07:38 GMT, Dec 21, 2016 |

Italy on Tuesday (December 20) decided to tighten security in places seen as at risk from possible attacks following the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people and injured 48.

Italy’s Anti-Terrorism Strategic Analysis Committee met with the Interior Minister earlier in the day to assess the risk for the country. Following the meeting it was agreed institutional buildings, places of worship and embassies will receive tightened security along with areas that will attract greater numbers of people during the holiday season, such as markets and concert halls.

There was an eerily-deserted Christmas market at Rome’s central Piazza Navona the day after the Berlin attack. The rain certainly didn’t help bringing people out but local stall holders said they had seen very little custom all day.

”I think (people are) a little bit (afraid),” said stall owner Roberta Zampetti.

“I think (these attacks) damage us and tourism. We are worried and we are sorry for the victims. I hope it will not happen again. Even if we say it every time and, unfortunately, new attacks take place,” she said.

An American tourist at the Vatican said she felt quite safe in Europe and welcomed the presence of security forces she had seen in France and Italy.

”I saw a lot of security at all of the monuments and I really feel safe in that regard,” said Nadia Diaz from Miami.

“Yesterday I went to the Colosseum and there was a lot of security in it. I went through the French airport and there was a lot of security there as well. So, I feel good as a tourist around here. Very safe,” she said.

Metal detectors have already been fitted at the Vatican checking those who enter and armed police patrol St. Peter’s square. Tens of thousands of people will visit the Vatican over the Christmas period.

The Berlin attack is expected to dampen the will for tourists to travel with the fear of terror attacks causing many people seek to shun crowded areas and instead opt to stay at home over Christmas.