The wonderful Silvio Berlunsconi heads a government which has just introduced swingeing cuts to the education system, savaging the education system at primary and tertiary level. One billion Euro is to go from the university budget in 2010 alone. Graduate research will be hit, staff levels be cut, and the heads of the universities are warning that the whole system may collapse. Primary school children will get only 24 hours’ teaching per week, while the aim is to sack over 100,000 teachers and support staff.
Naturally this has provoked protests among a wide section of the Italian population. A peaceful demonstration was held by students tonight, but came under organised attack by fascist elements (delicately described as right-wing by the Daily Telegraph) wearing motorbike helmets and armed with clubs and chains. At this point we should remember that Rome has an elected fascist mayor who was involved with fascist terrorist movements in the past, and that Berlusconi’s government contains such elements. Italians learn nothing about C20 history in school, and we can see the outcome in the attacks on the partisans of World War II and events such as this.
Oh, and did I mention that immigrant children with insufficient Italians are to be herded into educational ghettoes? What a lovely government the Italians have. And it is also worth noting that the Daily Telegraph’s headline is students riot in Rome. I wonder which side they are on?