Brutish Italian police to train Egyptian police in debt-swap deal

Ahram Online, Tuesday 31 May 2011

Italy’s police is reputed to be among the most brutal in Europe, yet Egypt’s finance ministry welcomed a debt-for-training deal to provide Italian training for Egypt’s discredited police force

Italian Police
Riot police tend to an injured anti-globalisation protester lying on a pavement in central Genoa.(Photo:Reuters)

The Italian government is expected to sign a debt-for-development agreement with Egypt. Italy would swap police training and logistical support for reducing its debt to Egypt, a press release by the ministry of finance today reveals.

An Italian initiative to support and train the Egyptian police as part of a debt-restructuring programme between the two countries was approved during a meeting between Finance Minister Samir Radwan and Italian Ambassador Claudio Pacifico in Cairo today.

"The Italian side has offered technical and logistical support to [Egypt’s] police force and the Egyptian side has immediately approved the initiative," the release reads.

Italy is known for its huge police apparatus. In 2005 the number of active police officers from all agencies totalled 324,339; the highest number in the European Union, both overall and per capita and twice the number of agents in the similarly-sized United Kingdom.

The controversial 2001 killing of an anti-globalisation protester at the G8 summit in Genoa was a joint operation between the state police and the military police, the carabinieri, who have a fearsome reputation.

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