Hundreds of protesters in Italy, Spain rally to demand higher wages
Hundreds of protesters in capitals of Italy and Spain have waged rallies to demand higher wages as well as a halt to shipment of weapons to Ukraine.
While calling for peace in the Ukraine conflict, the Italian protesters on Friday further demanded from the ruling right-wing government in Rome a wage increase of 300 euros per month as well as a minimum wage of at least 10 euros per hour.
TV and Social media footage of the rally showed protesters marching with flags, banners, and signs, such as 'Work to live, not live to work' and 'Don't ask, pretend.'
Similar rallies were also waged in other Italian cities, disrupting local transportation as well as schools, according to local media outlets.
One of the participants in the rally blamed what she described as the government’s “warmongering policies” for the country’s economic problems, high inflation and persisting low wages.
“We are in a crisis that has no end since the austerity that began in 2008. The value of wages has lost 30 percent and Italy is the country that grows the least," said National Coordinator of the USB Union Paolo Leonardi as quoted in local press reports.
Italian protesters waged similar protest rallies last year, demanding a halt to Rome’s weapons shipments to Ukraine. Thousands of Italians also took part in demonstrations across the country on the first anniversary of the Ukraine conflict, slamming Western sanctions against Russia and Italy’s persisting military aid to Kiev.
This is while Italy's far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has declared that Rome will stick with pro-Kiev policies of the US-led NATO military alliance and will not change its anti-Moscow position in the Ukraine conflict.
A NATO member, Italy has been providing weapons to Kiev since the conflict began in February 2022.
Meanwhile, consumer prices in Italy climbed by a whopping 8.1 percent in 2022, hitting a 37-year high, due to soaring energy and food costs linked primarily to the Ukraine conflict.