Protests in Rome-After Mubarak, it’s time for Berlusconi to step down

Sunday, February 13, 2011

LONDON - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced a clamour from the streets of Rome to follow Hosni Mubarak’s example and step down from Italy’s premiership, as hundreds of protestors blew time on his leadership.

The demonstrators struggled to be heard at times amid the din from blowing of whistles and banging of cooking saucepans during the rally in the centre of the capital, aimed at heaping more pressure on the beleaguered Berlusconi.

But they did manage to break into song at one point, with a rendition of “Bella Ciao”, one of the anthems of the Italian resistance during World War II.

Others chanted “Resign! Resign! Resign!” and “After Mubarak, Silvio Berlusconi” during the protest which was held only hours after Egypt’s veteran president quit in the wake of mass streets protests in Cairo.

The rally in Rome comes at the end of a week, which saw prosecutors request an immediate trial of the 74-year-old prime minister over allegations that he paid for sex with an under-age girl and abused his power.

The protest was organised by a group of bloggers that have dubbed themselves the ‘Purple People’ and were behind a ‘No Berlusconi Day’ in December 2009.

“We have come out onto the streets to defend our beloved constitution which defends us from abuse of power and makes us all equal before the law,” the Telegraph quoted Gianfranco Mascia, one of the coordinators, as saying.

“We have come to reestablish, through our efforts and sacrifice, the democracy that we have lost,” he said. (ANI)

Filed under: Politics

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