Protesters decrying Italy housing evictions clash with police in Rome

Protesters decrying Italy housing evictions clash with police in Rome
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Protesters demanding better housing rights in Italy have clashed with police in central Rome.

Reports say at least six people including four police officers were slightly injured and taken to hospital. There were several arrests.

As some demonstrators threw bottles, eggs and tried to mount an armoured vehicle, the police responded using batons and tear gas.

Several hundred people including a number of immigrants had rallied in response to the call of a housing protest group.They demand the right to be housed and denounce forced evictions for unpaid rent.

“We believe that Ignazio Marino (the Mayor of Rome) should be banging his fists on the table today. He must absolutely insist on an end to the evictions of those who can’t pay,” said activist Paolo Di Vetta.

Maurizio Lupi, the minister responsible for housing, has announced that in 2014 two funds worth a total of 140 million euros of aid will be put towards helping tenants in difficulty. But no change is in sight regarding the law on evictions.

Recent weeks have seen several protests over the consequences of Italy’s recession, the longest since World War II.

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