Tens of thousands of anti-austerity protesters marched through Rome on Saturday, declaring "No Monti Day" in growing anger over austerity measures introduced by Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Since last November, Monti's government has pushed through extreme painful spending cuts, pension overhauls, and tax hikes, all of which reach into the pockets of the lower and working classes of Italy.
"We are here against Monti and his politics, the same politics as all over Europe, that brought Greece to its knees and that are destroying half of Europe, public schools, health care," said demonstrator Giorgio Cremaschi, expressing the growing regional discontent with the Eurozone's handling of the financial crisis.
"United with a Europe that is rebelling. Let's get rid of the Monti government," read one of the banners held at the demonstration.
"It's been years that there have been no investments, instead it's all outsourced and privatized, we are here to say enough and we hope this voice will grow," said another demonstrator, Caterina Fida.
Some demonstrators wore giant masks of Monti, and others carried puppets of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama.