Man Climbs Top Of Saint Peter's Cathedral In Rome To Protest EU, Mario Monti - Live Webcast
While some may think that having an unelected technocrat is all fun and games, in Rome at least one person begs to differ. The person is Marcello Di Finizo, an Italian restaurateur, who has "staged a spectacular protest by spending the night between Tuesday and Wednesday on top of Saint Peter's Church in Rome." He is still there now and his expliot can be seen live on the webcast below.
Marcello Di Finizio, from Trieste in north-east Italy, visited the balcony on top of St Peter's dome with ordinary tourists. He then climbed over a railing and lowered himself with a rope onto a window ledge from which he unfolded a banner.
"Help!!! Enough with (Prime Minister Mario) Monti, Enough with Europe, Enough with multinationals. You are killing us all. Development??? This is simply social butchery," it read.
On Wednesday morning Di Finizio was still on top of the dome, as Vatican police, who also enlisted the help of Italian firemen, failed to convince him to end his protest.
A spokesman for the Vatican told dpa that the man was offered a meeting with government representatives in Monti's offices in central Rome, but he refused it.
The 46-year-old has carried out similar stunts in the past. He had already climbed on top of St Peter's in July, where he stayed for four hours. In March, he spent four days on a crane in Trieste's port.
He fears that he will lose his business due to EU regulation that is opening up the market for beachside businesses.
Previously, he staged street protests and went on a hunger strike after his bar-restaurant on Trieste's seafront was damaged by a fire and flooding in 2008, in order to get compensation for the damages.
Video footage showed the man, identified as Marcello Di Finizio, jumping over railings near the top of the 137-metre-high dome, shocking visitors taking a tour.
He then tied a cord to the railings and abseiled to a ledge over a window in the cupola.
Tottering on the ledge, Di Finizio unveiled a banner reading: "Help! Enough Monti, Enough Europe! Enough Multinationals!"
He remained on the dome well into the night, flashing a strobe light as Vatican police and firefighters worked to find a way to bring him down to safety.
Alex Giuzio, a friend of the protester, said Di Finizio owns a beach bar that rents out parasols and lounge chairs to sunbathers.
He said he is angry about a European Union directive and Italian government plan that will see licences to operate patches of seafront auctioned off transparently from 2016.
Beach workers say the plan will favour multinational companies over smaller local businesses.
Di Finizio has staged several public protests against the plans and had already climbed out onto St Peter's dome during a shorter protest in July when he demanded a meeting with the tourism minister.
Live webcast of the protester from the Vatican: