In an exclusive interview with New Europe, Cristiano Corazzari, the regional minister in Veneto for security, culture and city planning, discussed security and last week’s failed terrorist attack in Venice.

By Grandesso Federico

How do you think we should try to prevent such terrorist attacks?

The intelligence activity is fundamental, but the controls performed by the communities are also important. We are living with a very strong migration phenomenon, which is, unfortunately uncontrolled, and which is generating potential risks for our security. For this reason, we need more restrictive national policies if we want to develop a serious prevention strategy.

I would also like to thank and give my compliments to the police forces that prevented the attack in Venice. The police forces operated in synergy with the institutions and with all actors operating control activities in the area.

Talking about the Veneto Region, we are responsible for the local police that operate in all our 575 municipalities in the region. They are playing a fundamental role with their activity of control and they are also the first to speak with the citizen and to verify the changes taking place in specific areas. In this regard, we place training activities for the local police at regional level, this training gives instruments to operate against the organised crime and all those criminal parallel activities that could also be related to terrorism.

Do you think there is a risk of other terrorist “sleeping cells” being “activated”?

This is not only a risk, it’s a sure thing. All the institutions at the national and the EU level have confirmed that inside the migratory phenomenon there could be potentially dangerous “sleeping cells” that, in certain situations, could be activated to prepare for a terrorist attack. For this reason, tighter controls on migrants are necessary.

There also exists the problem of indoctrination of second or third-generation immigrants residing in the EU. These people are often recruited in small criminal groups and this is happening inside prison. After that, they turn into potential terrorists.

Unfortunately, Veneto is the most vulnerable area in Italy because we have a percentage of immigrants coming from countries where the risk of terrorism is very high. After this, we have in Veneto a lot of symbolic places like Venice that could be targeted because of the shock that the media would spread all over the world in case of a terrorist attack.

What national measures to prevent such threats are you calling for?

As the region of Veneto, we asked for more new restrictive laws in the management of migration but also on the possibility of controlling individuals potentially at risk with the aim of preventing attacks.

In this case, do you think that it is also important to work in the prisons?

The solution, if possible, is to draw up agreements with third-countries from where the criminals are coming from and send them back to serve their prison term. After this, we should block in the prisons any possible situations generating indoctrination.

Can you tell me about the concrete financial support you provide for security?

Over the coming weeks, we will be launching a regional call for proposal in order to allocate the amount of €1.3m for the installation of new CCTV in the Veneto municipalities and equipment’s for the local police. Every year, we regularly launch these kinds of calls.

It is key to promote synergies among the different police corps, to encourage the citizen to be an active actor and to denounce potential dangerous situations and to train our security corps.

What’s your opinion about migrant management at the national level?

The borders have to be respected. It is absurd that our rescue boats go and rescue the migrants just a few miles off the coast of Libya. It seems that Internal Affairs Minister Marco Minniti has averted this trend, and we expressed satisfaction about this. But it’s always the same.