Students in Italy are irate about possible education reforms all throughout Italy. Reforms in place have been drawn up without any dialogue with students and teachers says Babara Marchetti, a 27-year-old PhD student at Rome University. Instead of sitting put and letting such events take place, students have been taking action into their own hands with numbers of protests and reform themselves. Last week students occupied tourist sites around the country, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum, and have vowed to block proposed changes by Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini, according to Reuters.
Thousands of students have taken to central Rome chanting and waving banners with slogans "education is on its knees" and throwing eggs, bottles and fireworks toward parliament. The students only want a grass-roots reform, said a University of Florence students, not a reform that stems from the corridors of power. A final vote on the reform is expected later today, but the protest and violent action against the reform will not stop.
The unrest is a further blow for Berlusconi's troubled government, already undermined by a weak economy and a series of scandals and facing two confidence votes in parliament on Dec. 14 that could lead to early elections, according to Reuters. Gelmini has warned legislators, who have made some minor amendments to the package to satisfy students and teachers, that she will withdraw the reforms if too many changes are made.