Europe is boiling over with rage at more coronavirus lockdown rules – and politicians who flout them risk a collapse in respect for the rule of law
As the coronavirus crisis drags on, the mood in Europe is turning ugly. Tempers are fraying. Frustration is at boiling point.
And, as the shocking photos on this page reveal, with new Covid restrictions being introduced across the continent, many countries are sliding into open rebellion.
Take Italy, for example, where this week at least a dozen cities have seen violent protests against the government’s reimposition of a tight lockdown.
The most serious occurred in Milan and Turin, where demonstrators committed arson, vandalised public transport, looted shops and attacked the police with stones and petrol bombs.
WATCH Italian police use water cannons, tear gas & stun grenades as they clash with anti-lockdown protesters in Rome
A protest rally near Rome’s historic Piazza del Popolo square descended into violence on Tuesday night as several hundred demonstrators took to the streets to demand an end to new Covid-19 policies imposed over the weekend, which include a 6pm curfew for bars and restaurants and shutdown orders for public facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and movie theaters.
Thousands of furious demonstrators clash with police in cities in Italy and Spain as they urge their governments to abandon new restrictions on their freedom
Protests erupted across Europe last night as thousands of angry demonstrators called on their governments to reconsider a second-round of lockdown restrictions.
In Italy, violence was reported in at least two major northern cities, Milan and Turin, as vast crowds protested freedom-limiting restrictions enforced to tackle a second surge in coronavirus cases.
Witnesses said a number of luxury stores, including a Gucci shop, were ransacked in central Turin as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off huge firecrackers and lighting coloured flares.
The city’s mayor today berated the violent protesters who she said had ‘polluted’ a demonstration by bar and restaurant owners who are facing another economic slump.
In Milan at least 28 people were arrested after protesters threw Molotov cocktails at police in the capital of Lombardy, the original epicentre of the virus in Italy which is now seeing a resurgence of cases.
Meanwhile in Barcelona, demonstrators set rubbish bins on fire in the streets – before riot police intervened to bring the chaos to an end.
The demonstrations came just one day after Spain declared a second nationwide state of emergency covering all regions except the Canary Islands.
The new state of emergency will initially last for 15 days but the Government plans to ask parliament for a six-month extension, meaning the restrictions – which include a 11pm to 6am curfew – could be enforced until early May 2021