Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Capital sent in tilt by anti-austerity demonstrations

English
© ANSA

Rome, November 14 - Protesters in Italy's capital
clashed with police as demonstrations against rising
unemployment and austerity measures gripped the city, sending
traffic into tilt and closing down Rome's principle
thoroughfares.
Demonstrators from Italy's powerful CGIL labor
confederation, joined by student protesters and other fringe
groups ran riot among stand-still traffic on Rome's Lungotevere
road that runs alongside the Tiber river, throwing firecrackers,
bottles, pulling down street signs and causing panic, police
said.
Police also clashed with hardline protesters near Rome's
Synagogue as demonstrators hurled rocks and police fired
teargas.
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno blasted the Italian government
Wednesday over the chaos surrounding strikes and protests in his
city, which at one point included a stream of demonstrators
being directed into the city's Jewish Ghetto quarter, the oldest
of its kind in the world.
"I wonder what else needs to happen to get the government
and public security authorities to implement real regulations
for demonstrations in the capital of Italy," he said.
"You cannot continue on this path that threatens to
overwhelm the life of our city.
Police said that the rally, which included a high number of
frightened minors, was diverted away from clashes and into the
nearby Ghetto, passing in front of the Synagogue.
The president of Rome's Jewish community, Riccardo
Pacifici, said the maneuver "created panic", prompting teachers
to lock the doors to Hebrew schools as lessons were ongoing.
"When a rally passes in front of the Synagogue,
unfortunately it prompts a certain reflex," said Pacifici.
"We understand the reasons for the rally, but what does it
have to do with us"?
Armoured vans and jeeps were used to disperse crowds in
Rome and approximately 50 protesters have been detained by
police.
Senior police officer and Rome prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro
said that protests and clashes in the country's capital on
Wednesday could have caused much more damage and ended with more
injuries if not for the efforts of the police force.
"It was a difficult day, but it could have been worse,"
Pecoraro said.
Students and laborers were protesting in over 100 separate
rallies organized across the country, while countless more were
staged across the EU after the European Trade Union
Confederation called on citizens to walk out on the job
Wednesday.
Two police officers were sent to the emergency room in
Padua after large firecrackers exploded during clashes with
protesters.
One officer, injured more seriously than the other,
suffered lacerations to the leg, while the other passed out from
the explosion.
Their condition was not released.
CGIL chief Susanna Camusso on Wednesday blasted the
austerity policies pursued by Italian Premier Mario Monti's
government as disastrous on the continent-wide European Day of
Action and Solidarity.
"The Monti government is now a year old and it has been a
year of disasters and of no answers to the world of work," said
Camusso, whose union confederation, Italy's biggest, led
anti-austerity protests.
"It's a year that has removed confidence and hope from the
young people of the country," she added.
"Don't keep telling us there's light at the end of the
tunnel. The truth is needed".
A policemen is badly injured after being attacked by youths
wielding clubs and baseball bats during protests in Turin on
Wednesday.
The officer was surrounded by around 20 young people
outside the offices of the provincial government in the city and
the blows he received to the head were so violent his helmet
broke.
He was also said to have a broken arm and was taken to the
city's Mauriziano hospital.

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