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Clashes in Italy as Monti warns of further "crisis"

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Clashes in Italy as Monti warns of further "crisis"

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Demonstrations against Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s visit to Bologna turned violent, as protesters scuffled with police and tried to break through a security cordon.

There is growing dissatisfaction with the technocrat’s handling of Italy’s economy which includes high borrowing costs for the country and the biggest unemployment rate in over 10 years.

As protesters clashed with police outside another the venue in Milan, Monti said: “We stepped away from the precipice before, with the contribution of the political forces and sacrifices of the Italian people – but the hole is growing bigger and it may swallow us up. We are again in a crisis.”

Organisers of a protest against labour reforms say 200,000 people turned out in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo to demonstrate against initiatives that are part of a drive towards austerity.

Labour unions are calling for the government to focus on job creation, rather than tax rises and pension cuts as a way of stimulating Italy’s economy.