On the streets of Riva del Garda in northern Italy police and protesters have clashed. The violence erupted during a nationwide demonstration against Prime Minister Mario Monti and his government’s austerity measures.
The PM was addressing a meeting at the town’s Festival of Family. Police formed a cordon around the convention centre where the meeting was being held.
Inside the hall there were cat calls before he began a keynote speech with some from the audience interrupting saying they didn’t want subsidies but work.
“You are completely right. But I’m just trying to explain why we have arrived to this situation. Why in the past Berlusconi’s government has promised too much and why now we cannot keep those promises made before.”, he said.
A mass protest in Rome was part of what was dubbed, “No Monti Day,” by the organisers who had appealed for calm after a similar protest turned violent last year. It’s reported some demonstrators threw eggs, paint and bottles at a bank.
“He, Monti is just thinking about the banks interests, and the benefits for the banks. He doesn’t care at all, is not interested in us,” said one demonstrator.
More than a thousand police are shadowing the demonstrators who have called the austerity measures, “social massacre”.
Earlier this week the Bank of Italy warned more may follow early next year.