‘No Meloni’: Why students across Italy are protesting on Friday

Some disruption was expected in central Rome, Milan and other Italian cities on Friday amid student protests against the new government's policies on education.

'No Meloni': Why students across Italy are protesting on Friday
Students demanding more rights and a better-functioning education system demonstrate against the government in Rome on November 18th, 2022, as part of a nationwide protest. The banner reads :"Against the Meloni government and school of merit". (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

Thousands of Italian students were reportedly taking to the streets on Friday to demand more investment in the country’s schools and universities – something they say is not a priority for the new hard-right government led by Giorgia Meloni.

Italian student unions Unione degli Studenti and Rete degli Studenti organised the day of coordinated demonstrations, which they dubbed ‘No Meloni Day’ in protest at the new prime minister’s stance on education.

Protestors said they were against her government’s focus on “meritocracy” after the education ministry was renamed the ‘Ministry for Education and Merit’.

Critics of the ministry’s new name say it promotes the idea that academic achievement is based solely on effort, and ignores structural injustices that prevent low-income students from progressing in school.

Alice Beccari, Unione degli Studenti communications manager, told Italian media that the group was however not protesting “exclusively” against the current government’s ideology.

“As in past years, we protest against reforms aimed at the privatisation and industrialisation of schools,” she said.

The main protest in Rome was expected to cause some disruption to bus services, as students march from Circo Massimo to the offices of Italy’s education ministry in the Trastevere district.

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Rome transport disruption averted as unions call off Monday strike

The first transport strike of the year in Italy has been cancelled after an agreement was reached between unions and Rome's public transport operator.

Rome transport disruption averted as unions call off Monday strike

Rome’s commuters won’t have to deal with delayed and crowded public transport services on Monday as feared, after unions on Friday said they had called off a planned public transport strike in the capital.

READ ALSO: Metro, bus or tram: Rome’s public transport explained

Staff from Rome’s public transport company Atac had planned to hold a four-hour strike on the morning of Monday, January 16th in protest over standards of maintenence on the network. 

The protest was expected to cause widespread disruption for passengers travelling by bus, tram or metro within the city.

But the walkout was cancelled after unions and Atac reportedly managed to reach an agreement on the issues raised.

Strikes in Italy are scheduled well in advance – and listed on a handy calendar provided by the transport ministry – but are often later called off, in many cases at short notice.

You can keep up to date with the latest strike news from Italy HERE.