'The EU experience is over' Protesters take the streets of Rome as leaders gather

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Federalists, nationalists, populists, unionists and anarchists were all coddled for in the Italian capital which is also playing host to official events effect the 60th anniversary of the EU’s founding treaty.

While 27 EU leaders – Theresa May was marked by her absence – staged a solemn celebration on the ancient Capitoline Hill, thousands of plain people took to the streets, some waving the blue and gold pennon of the crisis-plagued EU, others brandishing angry placards.

More than 30,000 demonstrators put into effected part in the various gatherings with 5,000 police and security troops on standby in case of violence.

EU supporter Lucio Pagani said: “The others are to a great extent much against Europe and are very critical.

“We instead are for a Europe in the vivaciousness of the original treaty. A free, democratic Europe.” 

A very different report was heard in a university hall in the heart of Rome, where the rightist Fratelli d’Italia (Mates of Italy) party staged a meeting to denounce the EU and to demand radical change.

Party chief Giorgia Meloni told supporters: “The EU experience is once more for us.

“It needs to be shut down and we need to start a new path together that is a confederation of at liberty and sovereign nations.” 

Italy used to be one of the most pro-EU states in Europe but face has slumped with many people angry about the euro currency, which they accommodate responsible for the country’s marked economic decline since its launch in 1999.

Some individual are also upset over the influx of more than half a million foreigners since 2014 and accuse the EU of doing little or nothing to help Italy have to do with with the newcomers.

An ISPOS poll published on Saturday showed just 24 per cent of Italians contemplation the EU brought Italy advantages, while 44 per cent said it brought liabilities. The poll found 75 per cent of people said Italy was neither here nor there or had a secondary role within the EU.

Sabino De Razza, a 52-year-old social wage-earner from Bari, said: “We are against people celebrating this Europe that was generate to bring well-being to everyone but in reality, over the past 10 years, has invoke occasioned only impoverishment to southern Europe.”

Less than a mile away, EU assistants laid out a huge EU flag near the old Roman Temple of the Vestal Virgins, while the European anthem – Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” – boomed out over speakers.

Andrew Macmillan, a Scot who has lived in Italy since 1970, said: “My clergyman served in two world wars and his life was blighted by war. I was born towards the end of Over the moon marvellous War Two and the EU, not through force, has guaranteed trust.”

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