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    Student Blockades Protest Education Cuts In Italy


    by NTDTelevision

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    Students in Rome have blocked several roads, including motorway access. The demonstrations are against a new education law. Here's more.
    Groups of students blocked traffic on several roads in Rome on Wednesday, as part of an ongoing protest against a new university law due to be approved by the Italian Parliament.

    The demonstrators kept their distance from the historic center of the Italian capital, which was struck by violent clashes seen at a similar march a week ago.

    More protests are taking place in cities across Italy, including Venice, Modena, Perugia, Reggio Emilia, Grosseto and Barletta.

    The government says the new education law will strengthen Italy's crumbling university system, but critics say it will merely cut funding.

    Supporters of the bill say the country's overcrowded universities do little more than produce 30 year-old sociology graduates, ill-fitted for work in a modern economy, and thus the system needs radical overhaul.

    Critics, many of whom support the principle of reforming the universities, say the system has been systematically starved of funds.

    They say further cuts will seriously endanger Italy's research capacity.

    The controversial bill is due to be passed on Thursday December 23.