‘We need money to live’: Thousands protest against Italian PM, austerity measures (VIDEO, PHOTOS)



Published time: May 18, 2013 16:51

Demonstrators applaud during the left-wing Italian metalworkers’ union FIOM rally in downtown Rome Piazza San Giovanni on May 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

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Thousands of people gathered in Rome on Saturday to protest austerity measures and high unemployment. Demonstrators urged Prime Minister Enrico Letta to create jobs in order to pull the country out of recession.

Protesters held banners which read, “We can’t wait
anymore”
and “We need money to live.”

“We hope that this government will finally start listening to us
because we are losing our patience,”
protester Enzo Bernardis
told Reuters.

Letta promised to make jobs his top priority when he assumed office
in April. Demonstrators accused him of not sticking to his vow,
instead choosing to focus on a property tax reform outlined this
week.

Union leaders said they want a fresh agenda, and urged Letta to
shift away from the austerity plan pursued by former Prime Minister
Mario Monti, who introduced a range of spending cuts, tax hikes,
and pension reforms during his time in office.

“We need to start over with more investment. If we don’t
restart with public and private investments, there will no new
jobs,”
said Maurizio Landini, secretary-general of the
left-wing metalworkers union Fiom.

But other protesters didn’t believe Letta’s government was capable
of changing the country’s economic track.

“This government will last a very short time,”
said
demonstrator Marco Silvani. “What we need is a new leftist party
that fights for the rights of the people.”

A man wearing a mask resembling former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi demonstrates during the left-wing Italian metalworkers' union FIOM rally in downtown Rome on May 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

According to a Friday poll conducted by the SWG institute, the
government’s approval rating has dropped to 34 per cent from 43 per
cent at the start of May.

Italy is in the midst of its longest recession since quarterly
records began in 1970. Jobless rates are close to record highs,
with youth unemployment hovering around 38 per cent.

Demonstrators walk pass a banner showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel dressed as a Nazi during the left-wing Italian metalworkers' union FIOM rally in downtown Rome on May 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

This article originally appeared on : RT