Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching deeper into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

Business Europe

Italian protesters gather en masse at Rome's Coliseum

©

Video by Oliver FARRY

Text by Alexis MASCIARELLI , correspondent in Rome

Latest update : 2010-01-04

Demonstrators, in the hundreds of thousands, marched through the streets of Rome on Saturday in a protest organised by the CGIL, Italy’s largest trade union, against Silvio Berlusconi’s government’s response to the economic crisis.

Demonstrators, in the hundreds of thousands, marched through the streets of Rome on Saturday in a protest organised by the CGIL, Italy’s largest trade union, against Silvio Berlusconi’s government’s response to the economic crisis.

 

“This is a day we will remember for a long time,” said Guglielmo Epifani, general secretary of the CGIL. “There are so many of us. We represent the part of Italy that works, the pensioners, those without stable jobs.”

 

“I wish the government would pause and think about the seriousness of this crisis, I wish the government would try and do more against it,” he told journalists during the protest.

 

The centre of the capital was inundated by a wave of red hats and flags held by protesters who came from across the country and who were chanting ‘Bella Ciao’, the song of the undergound resistance to fascism during the Second World War.

 

Marching ahead of a group coming from Genova, in the north of Italy, Michele, a 70-year-old former steel worker said “us pensioners cannot go on like this anymore.”

 

Others in the march shouted slogans such as ‘No to the government’s cuts’ and ‘Those who provoked this crisis it should pay for it’.

 

According to the organisers, there were an estimated 300,000 participants in Saturday’s mass demonstration.

 

It is the first time since its defeat at last year’s parliamentary elections that the Italian political left is united, with the presence in the demonstration of the main leaders from the Democratic Party, the main opposition party, as well as from the Green and Communist parties.

 

"I believe that it is the duty of the Secretary of the Democratic Party to support the workers who ask for their rights to be respected, who are scared to lose their jobs, those people who denounce peacefully against the fact that they can no longer live on their pensions”, said PD’s leader Dario Franceschini.

 

According to data published this week by the country’s tax administration, 35% of Italians declared revenue of less than 10,000 euros in 2007. A figure that, according to experts, shows the weakness of Italian salaries as well as the amplitude of fiscal fraud in the peninsula.

 

The most recent government measure to fight the economic crisis has been the go-ahead given this week to a programme of fiscal incentives to stimulate the building industry.

 

“Demonstrating against a crisis with this global dimension is like going on strike against the rain,” commented Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi, while ridiculing Saturday’s demonstration.

 

 

 

Date created : 2009-04-04

Comments

COMMENT(S)