Demonstrators have hit the streets in Rome to protest over the country’s austerity measures.
Italy’s new budget, announced this week, included spending and tax cuts aimed at returning the economy to growth.
But companies, trade unions and parts of the media have criticised it.
Around 20,000 protesters were reportedly on the streets of Rome to show their opposition.
As part of the protest, a transport strike was called in the city. It hit trains, buses and Rome’s airport, forcing easyJet to cancel 56 flights.
One protester told euronews: “I’m here to protest because it’s always the same people paying for the crisis, always the workers. It has been happening for many, many years. Centre right, centre left. All the measures, liberal or social democratic, have all been unsuccessful.”
The hostile domestic reaction to Italy’s budget may pose a new threat to the stability of Enrico Letta’s government, just weeks after the prime minister defeated Silvio Berlusconi’s attempt to topple him.
A further general anti-austerity protest is expected on Saturday in Rome.