Italian university legislation sparks protests from students and staff

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

On Tuesday, the Italian Parliament gave its final approval to the reform of the Italian University system. The reform, entitled "Moratti reform", is named after the Minister for School and University, Letizia Moratti.

Protests were made before and during the Parliamentary process to approve the law; the city of Rome was partially blocked by several groups of students, professors and assistants demonstrating against the proposed legislation. The situation became serious when the protesters reached Montecitorio square, the location of the lower house of Parliament. The protestors contested several of the members of the government.

The opposition did not participate in the vote.

The reform is strongly opposed by professors, students and other staff, who claimed economical hardship would be caused by the law.

The minister Letizia Moratti opposed the reform. In a statement, Moratti claimed that the aim of the law is to reduce the privileges that some people have.