20 years in the past, throughout a gathering of world leaders very very similar to the one happening on Saturday in Rome, the Italian port metropolis of Genoa was reworked right into a scene of chaos as protests descended into riots. Earlier than the summit was over, one 23-year-old Italian protester was lifeless.

That violence now looms over this weekend’s Group of 20 summit.

Tensions are working excessive as latest protests over Italy’s obligatory coronavirus well being cross for employees — the strictest in Europe — turned violent when neo-fascist infiltrators smashed the headquarters of a labor union. Different scattered protests, some put down with water cannons, have emerged in opposition to these restrictions.

However Italy has insisted that it’s prepared.

Greater than 5,000 additional regulation enforcement officers have taken to the streets. Particular automobiles are on patrol to detect poisonous substances. Within the skies, navy drones and methods to counter rogue drones buzz overhead as helicopters patrol a no-fly zone.

Every nation can be bringing its personal safety. When President Biden visited the Vatican for a gathering with Pope Francis on Friday, he rolled down the broad By way of della Conciliazione with a motorcade of greater than 80 vehicles, lots of them closely armed and staffed with navy personnel.

Safety across the embassies is extraordinarily tight, and a big “excessive safety” space has been erected across the convention heart the place the summit is happening. Solely licensed holders of credentials and residents are being allowed to drive or stroll inside.

The inside minister stated that safety had additionally been beefed up alongside Italy’s borders. Bus routes are diverted, and metro stations can be closed.

However within the age of a pandemic, the safety issues prolong to invisible viral threats. Italy, the primary nation within the West to be hit by the coronavirus, has a few of Europe’s most stringent coronavirus guidelines.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi can be maybe hoping to affect his fellow leaders, getting a swab check on daily basis of the summit regardless of being vaccinated towards the virus.