Dramatic And Fiery Scenes At Student Protests In Italy

Students across Italy demonstrated against the government's education funding plans, in the first widespread show of dissidence against the new populist government.

Students demonstrated in 50 cities, including some 3,000 who ended their protest outside the Education Ministry in Rome.

Hundreds gathered in the northern city of Turin, where protesters burned effigies of deputy premiers Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio.

Students were critical of a lack of funds for textbooks, transport and improvements to school buildings, many of which have not undergone serious upgrades in years due to spending cuts.

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Students also protested for the right of children of foreigners born in Italy to be granted automatic citizenship, and not wait until their 18th birthdays to apply, and against suggestions by Salvini to restart the draft.

Salvini reacted angrily to the protests, saying that burning effigies and hanging them on street lamps "is disgusting."

"These 'democratic' students, coddled by social centers and by some professors, need many lessons in civic education," Salvini said on Twitter.

Di Maio, who is economic development and labor minister, responded by saying that the ministry's doors were open. "Let's build a new school together," he said.

The Italian parliament has approved the government's spending plan, which includes money to roll back a pension reform, to offer a basic salary to some jobs.

Featured Image: AP