A day after Greek workers walked off the job, tens of thousands of Italians have also held mass protests.
Italy’s largest trade union called the one-day strike in anger at the government’s economic and immigration policies.
Public services including schools, hospital and transport have all been badly hit by the national stoppage. The biggest rally was in Rome.
Many protesters feel the centre-right coalition led by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has failed to respond to Italy’s economic woes.
However, with regional elections many in the government have said clearly the strikers are trying to sway public opinion.