- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 3, 2012

VATICAN CITY (AP) — An Italian man has eluded Vatican security and scaled the 426-foot-high dome of St. Peter’s Basilica to protest the austerity measures that Italy has enacted.

Officials said Wednesday that the man, who said he was the owner of a beach resort, refused appeals from government ministers offering to meet with him if he would come down. He scaled the dome on Tuesday night.

He put up a banner saying: “Help! Enough Monti!” The reference was to Italian Premier Mario Monti, who has been implementing tough austerity measures and economic reforms to bring down Italy’s debt and deficit and spur economic growth.