- uploaded: Oct 3, 2012
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In an unorthodox display of anti-EU sentiment, an Italian restaurateur has spent almost a day staging a protest atop St. Peterâ€™s Basilica in Rome. He addressed crowds of bemused tourists, decrying PM Montiâ€™s policies as â€śsocial butcheryâ€ť.
Marcello Di Finizio tagged on to a group of ordinary tourists to gain access to the dome on Tuesday, whereupon he abandoned the tour, vaulted the railings and lowered himself on to a window ledge. He has so far spent more than 12 hours ensconced on top of St. Peterâ€™s, refusing to quit his protest.
He draped a banner over the dome of the cathedral, reading "Help!!! Enough with [Prime Minister Mario Monti], Enough with Europe, Enough with multinationals. You are killing us all. Development?â€ť
Vatican police have recruited the help of Italian firemen in order to coax Finizio to end his protest and come down from the basilicaâ€™s roof.
This is not the first time the 46-year-old Italian has scaled St Peterâ€™s. In July he spent four hours on the iconic building before being removed by authorities.
Italyâ€™s Prime Minister Mario Monti has sought to deal with the crisis by implementing austerity measures to reduce the national deficit. His cuts have been met with outrage by the Italian public, with numerous protests staged condemning the economic measures.
In the latest display of public discontent, up to 30,000 members of Italyâ€™s two largest unions paraded through Rome on Friday in protest of Montiâ€™s cuts.
Opposition to the Italian governmentâ€™s austerity has been swelling in recent months as unemployment continues to rise in Italy and the recession shows no signs of letting up.