As tens of thousands marched against austerity measures in Italy, the government said it was calling a confidence vote to push the package through parliament.
Students, pensioners and workers voiced opposition to a proposed 45-billion euro austerity budget and anger over how Italy is dealing with the euro zone crisis.
An eight-hour strike called by Italy’s largest union heavily disrupted transport all over the country. Airlines were hit hardest with almost half of all flights cancelled in Rome and Milan.
Italy has already introduced delays to retirement and freezes on state salaries as part of previous austerity measures.