Two policemen have been injured as hundreds of protesters hurled red paint and eggs at officers guarding Equitalia, Italy's tax collection office, in Naples following the suicide of yet another debt-ridden Italian citizen.
Demonstrators lobbed rocks and bottles at policemen clad in riot gear as the building was quickly closed to the public.
The protesters claimed to have attacked the tax office after its director refused to close it to mourn the latest suicide in Naples, allegedly sparked by the delivery of a bill from the tax recovery office, ANSA news agency reports.
Earlier in the day, a mail bomb was sent to Equitalia's head Rome office, police said.
A bomb squad was called in, and upon examining the package they discovered it was indeed filled with explosives, but contained no fuse. The agency has been widely criticized for increasing the burden of ordinary Italians suffering in harsh economic times. Another man in the southern town of Pompeii left behind a suicide note chastising the tax collection agency before later shooting himself.
However, an Equitalia spokesman said it was “unacceptable” to blame the agency for the economic crisis gripping the country, and that linking the agency to the recent rash of suicides was “superficial.”