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(Video) Clashes with police as protests against austerity sweep Italy

(Video) Clashes with police as protests against austerity sweep Italy

Protests against austerity took place countrywide on Friday in Italy.

RT reports: Egg-throwing, red paint and police batons marked a fresh heating-up of countrywide protests over impending social reforms in Italy, as the striking political left was joined by other members of society in major cities.

Transportation chaos and injuries occurred in some of the country’s major commercial and cultural hubs – from Rome and Milan, through to Naples, Padua, Turin, Bergamo, Genoa, Pisa and Palermo.

The rallies are the latest in a series of protests over Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s reforms – most notably the Jobs Act, which gives employers much more freedom to hire and fire employees. They are infuriating an increasingly large number of people amid an atmosphere of joblessness. There is also spillover into other complaints, including those directed at immigrants.

The largest gatherings took place in Milan, where riot police were attacked with flares, before charging the crowds with batons.

In Rome, enraged demonstrators scaled the Coliseum; others gathered in front of a refugee center, which has been under attack throughout the week amid a climate of rampant unemployment and recrimination. Some 36 teenage refugees were evacuated.

Elsewhere in the capital, security forces got pelted with eggs and covered in red paint outside the German embassy. One opposition leader shouted they were demonstrating against the “politics of austerity.” A similar scene took place in front of the Economy Ministry.

The 500-strong Padua rally resulted in four police being injured, including their local chief Marco Cali, according to the Corriere della Sera. Around the Piazza Mazzini, they attempted to breach a blockade to access the Democratic Party’s offices.

Countrywide, striking by unions has paralyzed transport services in some of the major cities, including Rome.