Cagliari, November 27 - Sardinian Regional Governor Ugo Cappellacci wrote Italian Premier Mario Monti and the Ministers of Health and the Economy on Tuesday requesting that the government "urgently" reopen compensation discussions for patients who contracted thalassemia blood disorders from infected transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s. According to a thalassemia advocacy group, 700 of the 70,000 people who have contracted illnesses such as HIV and hepatitis in Italy through blood transfusions are in the region of Sardinia and more than 4,000 throughout the country have lost their lives since the 1980s. The group gathered outside of the Sardinian regional headquarters to protest a recent government decree aimed to block collective action for damages and to eliminate payments for 90% of those infected through transfusions. Currently, thalassemia patients receive around 700 euros monthly in compensation. "We cannot let ourselves be mocked or taken advantage of for illnesses that are not treatable and not contracted through any fault of ours," said the group spokesperson.