Clashes erupt in Cairo after arrest of protesters

Ten members of the panel drafting Egypt’s new constitution suspended work Tuesday after authorities arrested several protesters, including prominent activists. Further protests took pace in downtown Cairo in support of those arrested.


Strange bedfellows: Italy’s budget crisis unites jobless youth and big business

Strange bedfellows: Italy’s budget crisis unites jobless youth and big business

Public unrest in Italy, fueled by the new budget rolled out by the shaky ruling coalition, has united unemployed youth and the captains of industry in opposition, James Walston, an Italian politics expert from the American University of Rome, told RT.

  Violent clashes broke out between police and demonstrators in  Rome on Saturday as up to 70,000 took to the streets to protest  Italy’s new budget.

  Earlier this week, Prime Minister Enrico Letta – who leads the  unstable Left-Right coalition – presented the 2014 budget, which  immediately came under fire from both sides of the coalition.

  The left criticized the budget for freezing state sector pay and  pensions, while the right and big-business said it failed to  stimulate growth with insufficient cuts to Italy’s oppressive  corporate taxes.

  Walston says that attempts to balance Italy’s books are rooted  firmly in a eurozone system which many argue is being steered by  Berlin.

RT: It was a turbulent night in Rome. Can we expect to  see even more unrest?

James Walston: We are seeing more this morning. This  morning the protesters have camped outside one of the gates of  Rome – ironically, where the Italians came to conquer Rome from  the Popes in 1870. And today, of course, it’s a major traffic hub  and on a Sunday it doesn’t matter too much, but the traffic  around the center of the city is blocked, because they are  protesting and camping there, and say they want to mobilize the  city. So this is going on, and will probably go on in different  ways for a long time now.

RT: So is the government going to review this unpopular  budget that actually triggered such public discontent?

JW: Well, the budget was published on the 15th, – a few  days ago – and it will be passed (as) this was the proposal from  the government. It has to be passed by the end of the year; it’s  going to be modified anyway. And the government has not yet said  how it’s going to modify the budget. But so many people – from  the employers to the trade unions to different political parties   – and now very strong protests from young people of various sorts  who said ‘We do not like the government, we don’t like the  budget. We want a recovery budget, we want a growth budget.’ This  is what they’re complaining about. They’re complaining about the  same thing as the employers. It’s an unusual situation, but  that’s what we have.