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Clashes with police in Italy over high-speed train line

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Clashes with police in Italy over high-speed train line


Violence has erupted in Italy in bitter clashes between demonstrators and the police. According to the police an estimated 200 people have been injured, at least 180 of them officers.

The fighting broke out in the Susa Valley near Turin during protests against a high-speed rail link which is being built between France and Italy.

Thousands of people had joined mainly peaceful marches across the valley. The violence flared close to the construction site where police said hooligans sporting black masks were using the gathering as an opportunity to fight.

The European project to build the line at a cost of 15 billion euros has proved contentious since the deal was signed 10 years ago.

“Saying no to this construction is not prejudiced against it, but an evaluation which we have made over the years because if we analyse the costs and benefits then it is clear that, at the present moment, it is absolutely useless,” said one protester.

Villagers from the Susa Valley who say the work is damaging the environment have won wide ranging support. There are claims the project is there to serve the financial interests of different groups.

The EU has told Italy to continue construction otherwise funding could be withdrawn.

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