You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

As politicians sworn in, police shot in Rome

Police officers arrested Luigi Preiti following a shooting outside Palazzo Chigi in Rome.

Massimo Percossi/EPA

Police officers arrested Luigi Preiti following a shooting outside Palazzo Chigi in Rome.

ROME — In the very ­moments Italy’s new coalition government was being sworn in, ending months of political paralysis in a country hoping to revive a bleak economy, a ­middle-aged unemployed bricklayer opened fire Sunday in the square outside the prime minister’s office, seriously wounding two police officers, authorities said.

The alleged gunman from Calabria, a southern region plagued by joblessness and organized crime, told investigators he wanted to shoot politicians. But finding none in the square, he instead shot at Carabinieri, paramilitary police.

Continue reading below

A bullet pierced one of the officers in the neck, passing through his spinal column, doctors said, adding it wasn’t known if the 50-year-old officer would have any paralysis. The other officer was shot in the leg and had a fracture.

The newly sworn-in interior minister, Angelino Alfano, said a preliminary investigation indicated the shooting, which also slightly injured a pregnant bystander, amounted to a ‘‘tragic criminal gesture of a 49-year-old unemployed’’ man.

But the shooting was also a violent expression of social tensions in Italy, where unemployment is soaring, an increasing number of businesses are shutting their doors permanently, and new political corruption scandals make headlines nearly every day. Politicians described the attack as a disturbing call to fix Italy’s economy.

‘‘From what we understand, it’s mainly personal problems, work, personal debts’’ that fueled the gunman’s attack, said Guglielmo Epifani, a top official in Premier Enrico Letta’s center-left Democratic Party.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.