More than 100,000 striking metal workers from all over Italy converged on Rome on Friday (2 December) to demonstrate against the Government's handling of the economy.
GV Marching strikers carrying banners and flags, walk through Rome streets, watched by applauding crowds
MV Marchers carrying flags and banners through streets
MV PULL BACK TO GV Soldiers looking on as marchers go by
MV Marchers along wide boulevard
MV Metalworkers stepping down from buses
MV PAN Marchers in line move off from bus perk
MV Police and soldiers standing by vehicles
GV PAN Strikers massed in Piazza San Giovanni
The Italian Government's ability to fight recession is being seriously hampered by its need to pay back 4.8 billion dollars worth of international loans, due for repayment next year. The Government is currently drawing up a programme of new tax increases and spending cuts to help reduce the huge public sector deficit and to restore some degree of international confidence in the economy.
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Background: More than 100,000 striking metal workers from all over Italy converged on Rome on Friday (2 December) to demonstrate against the Government's handling of the economy.
SYNOPSIS: The huge demonstration was held to back the demands of the metal workers and other powerful trade unions for urgent new economic policies to deal with rising unemployment and inflation. About 1.7 million Italians are unemployed. And this year the country's growth rate is expected to be less than two per cent, while inflation is now running at an annual rate of almost 19 per cent .
The trade unions say the Government's current economic programme is not enough to solve these problems.
Many of the metalworkers had travelled overnight by bus from the country's industrial ???. They called for "Jobs - not Redun???" as they marched to a rally in central Rome.
As well as demanding urgent economic measures, speakers at the rally also urged the Government to take immediate action against a recent wave of political violence. They said they wanted greater security and freedom to live in safety.