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Tuesday, 16 April, 2002, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
In pictures: Italy on strike
Red banners fluttered on the central squares of Italy's historic cities on Tuesday as the country's unions led a general strike against labour reforms.

People from every walk of life were out for the action, which was as much a protest against Silvio Berlusconi's government as the actual reforms.

Italians concerned about job security joined radicals harking back to Che Guevara

Demonstrators on Turin's Piazza San Carlo
The unions could be sure of a strong showing in the industrial heartland of Turin

Sergio Cofferati, head of CGIL, Italy's largest and most militant union
But union leader Sergio Cofferati found 300,000 supporters even in aristocratic Florence

Rally by Milan's cathedral
The message was equally clear in Milan, Italy's business capital and Silvio Berlusconi's home city

Demonstrators with copy of The Fourth State by painter Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedos (1901)
The day saw a revival of old the traditions of radicalism, going back a century

The Colosseum stands closed to tourists in Rome
For Italy's all-important tourists, it was a day of closed museums and transport problems

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Brian Barron in Rome
"The Italian government wants to curb the powers of union militants"
Giacomo Barbieri of the trade union CGIL
"People have rights, and must defend their dignity"
The BBC's David Willey reports from Rome
"Italy's labour laws are extremely rigid"
See also:

16 Apr 02 | Europe
Millions strike in Italy
15 Apr 02 | Europe
Italy media on strike
15 Apr 02 | Europe
Italy's politicised strike
16 Apr 02 | Business
Flights grounded by Italian strike
24 Mar 02 | Europe
Analysis: Italy's labour dilemma
Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


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