France's U-turn on the Red Brigades

French police on Wednesday arrested seven Italians who were formerly active in left-wing terrorist organisations, mainly the Red Brigades, and now plans to extradite them to Italy. In 1985, French President François Mitterrand offered them asylum on the grounds that they would not get a fair trial in Italy. This policy became known as the Mitterrand doctrine. Commentators suspect this was a concession by Macron to Draghi.

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La Stampa (IT) /

Tardy justice

The arrest of the activists, who are suspected of terrorist acts, comes as a big relief for the Italians, La Stampa comments:

“There is a collective feeling that a deep wound in political and diplomatic relations between Italy and France is healing. This is also due to the Italians' belief that with the Mitterrand doctrine France had directed unacceptable discrimination against our country. After almost 40 years, it was indeed time that the judgment regarding an alleged lack of protection of human rights in Italian legislation - on which the asylum granted to terrorists in France was based - was declared unsound.”

Il Manifesto (IT) /

What about right-wing extremist violence?

Double standards apply when it comes to politically motivated violence, Il Manifesto writes in anger:

“How is it that the fascist massacres of the 1960s and 1970s, in which organs of the Italian state were directly involved, are still covered by a thick fog that - together with impunity - erases all memory? ... How is it that we are the country of unpunished massacres by the blacks [right-wing extremists] while everything is known about the armed struggle of the reds [left-wing extremists] and all the guilty are either dead or have served decades in prison - and are still serving them?”