Protests erupt across Italy over debt

Nov. 17, 2011 at 8:42 AM
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ROME, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Protests broke out across Italy Thursday as demonstrators threw smoke bombs and rocks to vent against the new cabinet and the economic crisis.

In Milan, clashes erupted as protesters went to Bocconi University, the school of economics where newly appointed Prime Minister Mario Monti was dean, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Demonstrators called his cabinet a "government of bankers" because many of Monti's appointments have finance and economics backgrounds.

Monti was expected to propose to the Senate the budget reform package his emergency unity government wants to implement to avert a financial disaster before lawmakers take a confidence vote Thursday.

ANSA said similar demonstrations were reported in other Italian cities, where protesters were part of "Block Everything Day" organized by student groups to coincide with International Students' Day and a national transit strike.

In Palermo, demonstrators threw eggs and smoke bombs at several bank headquarters, ANSA said. Police intervened to prevent protesters from occupying the headquarters of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, led until recently by Industry and Infrastructure Minister Corrado Passera. One person was injured.

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