Italy: Police and students clash in Milan at anti-austerity protest

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Students clashed with police in Milan during a protest against government cuts in education spending.

The clashes happened outside the Lombardy regional government offices.

Protesters threw red dye into a public fountain in Milan close to the regional government’s offices as a symbol of “bleeding public schools”.

The angry protests followed earlier demonstrations in Rome but also in the north in Turin and Palermo in the south.

The Italian students demanded greater investment in education and opposed cutbacks in the 2014 budget.

Even though the Italian government has already passed a number of austerity measures, the European Commission warned that Italy’s draft budget still may not comply with new debt and deficit rules.

The Italian government is under pressure from creditors to cut its spending even further and the parliament is considering a “stability law” that will cut public services significantly. Along with protests about cuts to the education budget made by the government, the students are also complaining about high tuition fees.

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