The Italian government was displeased when the U.S. State Department issued a public announcement alerting Americans to the potential for terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday against U.S. interests in Florence, Milan, Venice and Verona. The Italians said security was in place, but according to their own intelligence information there was nothing new to guard against. The U.S. announcement, however, may have had more credibility than the Italians admitted, given the discovery in February of a plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Rome.

On an unrelated issue, Italy’s three largest unions have agreed to strike on April 16 against labor law reform. The unions represent some eight million workers across both the public and private sectors. The one-day general strike could wreak havoc with goods and services across the country.