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Students clash with police in Italy
Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:54AM
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Students scuffle with police in the Italian city of Palermo.
At least two Italians have been wounded in clashes with police in the city of Palermo amid a new wave of protests against educational reforms across Italy.

Several hundred university students clashed with police in Palermo in Sicily as they attempted to enter a local government building. A group of students was later seen throwing stones and bottles at the main police station in the city. Riot police fired tear gas at the students.

Wednesday's protests were held as the Senate, the upper house of the Italian parliament, prepared to vote for the final approval of the university reform bill.

The student rallies took place amid tight security to protest against a radical reform of the university system proposed by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government.

Student activists urged Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who met with a small group of protesters on Wednesday, not to sign the reform into law.

Protest organizers in Rome had said that they would avoid a confrontation with police by steering clear of “palaces of power” in the city center.

“I hope that everything takes place without any serious incidents,” Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini told reporters.

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