Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi judges back Nkurunziza's bid for a third term

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"French Patriot Act" criticised online

Read more

DEBATE

France's Patriot Act? Lawmakers Approve Surveillance Bill (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

France's Patriot Act? Lawmakers Approve Surveillance Bill (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

Will Finland's eurosceptic party enter government?

Read more

FOCUS

The health risk behind Argentina's soya paradise

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Top Burundian judge flees country after government pressure

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'60% of British citizens want voting reform'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Swedish FM: ‘Diplomacy today is about courage and patience’

Read more

Thousands gather to protest education reform

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-10-30

People thronged the streets of Rome in continuing protests against government plans to reform the education system. Union leaders, meanwhile, called for a general strike in schools across the country.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Rome Thursday in protest at Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's multi-billion education cuts.
   
Demonstrators started gathering in the capital at around 0830 GMT to unveil a banner which read: "Everyone united together for schools."
   
They were joined by Walter Vetroni, the leader of the left-wing Democratic Party, and former anti-corruption magistrate Antonio di Pietro, the head of the smaller Italy of Values party.
   
Berlusconi put forward a new state budget in August that aimed to save more than nine billion euros (11.6 billion dollars) in education spending and cut 130,000 jobs in primary schools.
   
His proposals were approved Wednesday following a vote in the Senate, Italy's upper house of parliament.
   
Domenico Pantaleo, an official from the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) union, said the changes would "destroy" Italy's public education system.
   
"These are not reforms, these are just budgetary cuts. The government is destroying public schools and replacing them with a private system. We're not going to discuss it and we will go ahead with the protests," he said.
   
Unions called for Thursday's general strike to be observed in all Italian schools. Separate protests are expected to take place in other major cities across the country.

Date created : 2008-10-30

COMMENT(S)