Italian students protest against austerity

Italian students protest against austerity
# 17 November 2012 22:44 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Thousands of students took to the streets across Italy on Saturday during the International Students' Day to protest against the education cuts carried out by Prime Minister Mario Monti's technocratic government, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

According to the student protesters, the austerity policies adopted by the emergency government to tackle a dangerous debt crisis have led to less efficiency in the school system.

"Our schools are falling apart. One out of two is not norm compliant," the spokesman of national network of middle school students, Daniele Lanni, said in a statement.

"Over the last 10 years, university has experienced a tax increase of 75 percent, while 45,000 students are without a scholarship, despite being entitled to it," he added.

In northern Milan, groups of students threw eggs and shouted slogans against the cutting of education funding in front of renowned Bocconi University, where Monti was participating in a conference.

Similar protests broke out in Turin, Palermo, Ancona and other places throughout Italy, where protesters blocked the traffic on beltways and fired bangers against the national central bank offices.

"Nov. 17 has always been an important date for students, but this year it carries a special value as we were able to build a network across Europe for the first time," said a member of the national university students union, Michele Orezzi.

On Wednesday, some 300,000 students, according to organizers, converged on over 25 Italian cities amid a wave of strikes across Europe to protest against harsh budget measures, and many groups clashed heavily with police, causing several injures.

"Saturday's peaceful demonstration proves it can be and must be possible to ask a change of the government policies without the need to use violence," said a representative of leading trade union CGIL, Maurizio Cala.

The International Students' Day is a worldwide observance of student community, held annually on Nov. 17, which originally commemorated the 1939 Nazi killing of Czech students.