Italy’s Meloni and daughter targeted by online death threat

Italy's Meloni and daughter targeted by online death threat
A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

By Alvise Armellini and Angelo Amante

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her 6-year-old daughter have received online death threats from an unemployed man angry over government plans to cut an anti-poverty subsidy, police said on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Sicilian is under investigation for threatening behaviour. His house has been searched and his Twitter account closed, a police statement said.

Meloni’s right-wing government wants to limit the so-called “citizens’ income” scheme next year ahead of scrapping the measure altogether in 2024, when it will be replaced by a new benefit that has yet to be detailed.

Meloni, who took office in October, has always criticised the citizens’ income, which was introduced in 2019, arguing that able-bodied people of working age should not be allowed to live off state subsidies indefinitely.

Under proposals included in the 2023 budget, currently under debate in parliament, citizens’ income payments will be withdrawn after eight months except for households with children, people aged 60 or above, and disabled persons.