Well that was quick: Italy is about to be acquainted with the old Asian saying that a "known devil is better then unknown angel", especially when the angel is a Prime and Finance minister (two for the austere price of one) working purely on the behalf of offshore banker interests. As Reuters and Corriere report, thousands of Italians took to the streets in several cities on Thursday to protest against what they called a "bankers' government" led by economist Mario Monti, and there were clashes with police. Students in Italy's financial capital Milan threw firecrackers at police trying to prevent them approaching the Bocconi university, which is chaired by Monti and has become a symbol for the new executive of technocrats he has formed to tackle Italy's debt crisis. Police responded by charging the students with batons. One journalist was injured by a firecracker, police sources said. The students also threw eggs and fake dollar banknotes at the building of the Italian banking association. "We don't want the banks to rule" and "Monti's government is not the solution," the students chanted." Well as long as it is only the students who feel this way, all is well. If, however, the anti-Monti sentiment is shared by more, which it is, then the technocratic government will be lucky to survive three weeks... forget 2013. And the greater the revulsion, the bigger the Stockholm Syndrome nostalgia for Berlusconi will be. If we were betting people, we would speculate that Silvio's chances for reelection are soaring with each passing minute.
More from Reuters:
There were also protests in Turin, Rome, Palermo and Bari, with demonstrators targeting universities where some of Monti's ministers used to teach, bank branches and tax offices.
In Turin, clashes broke out between police and thousands of demonstrators including anarchists trying to approach the local headquarters of the Bank of Italy.
Police said several people had been injured, including a policeman. Some of the protesters chanted: "Smell of austerity" and "Monti will all make us beggars."
A collapse of market confidence has pushed Italy to the brink of financial disaster and driven up its borrowing costs to unsustainable levels.
Monti's cabinet is made up of a mix of academic specialists and experienced administrators and includes Corrado Passera, the chief executive of Italy's biggest retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, as industry minister.