Angry business owners wearing shackles and chains descended on the Italian Parliament in Rome to protest against crippling lockdown measures that are keeping their bars and restaurants closed.
A number of arrests were made as members of the Italian Business Movement clashed with police.
“We put chains on ourselves because we can’t go ahead and accept this situation. We want to reclaim our jobs and our freedom,” one protester told the media.
Current restrictions mean that bars and restaurants are only allowed to open in the day for takeaway, although some of the protesters are vowing to defy the rules and open at night from tonight.
“We just want to work, we don’t ask for anything else,” chanted the protesters, as others simply chanted “Work!” and “Freedom!”
“We ask for an immediate end to the national lockdown,” said another protester. “We ask for an immediate end to the coloring of different regions. And we ask for the immediate opening, without restrictions for people or times, of all commercial activity. Regardless of the statistics related to the disease.”
Italians will remain under lockdown depending on their region at least until the end of April, with non-essential movement and large Easter get-togethers banned by the government.
Meanwhile, a new poll of Italians conducted by Euromedia Research finds that 70 per cent are tired of the lockdown restrictions and want them to end.
Under 27 per cent of respondents said they don’t want the restrictions to be lifted while almost a third (30.6 per cent) say that they were no longer able to cope psychologically with the situation.
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