Anti-Austerity protests sweep across Italy, Spain
Thousands of Italians have taken to the streets of Rome and several other major cities to express their resentment with the austerity policies imposed by the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
During the Saturday anti-austerity rallies, the demonstrators, mostly students and activists, chanted slogans against the government and accused the premier of triggering a war on the poor people.
The riot police also scuffled with protesters and apprehended a number of them, while others burnet flares and hurled eggs at the police.
The demonstrators also marched in front of the highly guarded German embassy in the capital and threw eggs at the building, decrying the European Union’s austerity policies.
The riot police in Rome blocked the protesters from reaching their final destination, the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The Italian government has been under fire for its economic and educational reforms.
Anti-austerity rallies in Spain
Meanwhile, thousands of anti-austerity Spaniards from various political groups and unions attended a “march of dignity” in Madrid to protest against what they called the neo-liberal policies of the EU.
The protesters expressed their anger at a variety of issues, including the Spanish government’s economic policies. They demanded an end to austerity measures that have caused cuts in a number of sectors including health and education.
The protesters also slammed a free trade deal between the European Union and the United States, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which according to marchers, will pose major risks for climate, environment and consumer safety, and may erode Europe’s consumer protections.
They spoke in favor of more humane rules governing asylum for refugees.
The Madrid rally is held a month ahead of a general election that follows an inconclusive vote in December as well as failed efforts to form a coalition government.