Thousands of public sector workers have been protesting in Rome, angry at the government’s drastic cost-cutting measures to balance Italy’s books.
Last month after weeks of procrastination, parliament eventually passed a 60-billion euro package to balance the budget by 2013.
The rally’s organisers believe the cost-cutting is aimed at the wrong target.
Demonstrator Pietro di Brusa said: “It’s a real disaster, but we keep trying hard to make the government understand that cutting jobs at the expense of the people is a sacrilege, and we cannot go on like this.”
Fellow protester Adriana Bossi added: “Everyone has told the Italian government ‘You have to promote development in your economy,’ but they don’t have the guts to work in that direction.”
Italians are also soaking up the latest news that the third major credit ratings agency has cut the country’s creditworthiness. It still has a monstrous debt burden and one of the most sluggish economies in the world.
Nearly a third of Italy’s youth are unemployed.
This latest demonstration came a day after students rallied against cuts they say will ruin Italy’s education system.