Thousands rally for new demo against Italian rail line

3rd July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Thousands of demonstrators began to gather Sunday for a fresh protest against a high-speed rail line through a scenic valley in northern Italy, authorities said.

On June 27, 30 people were hurt when police clashed with demonstrators as construction workers prepared to begin work on boring a tunnel in the Susa Valley near Turin.

Police were out in force on Sunday as authorities feared more trouble from radical groups within the otherwise peaceful protest movement.

Twenty-five policemen and four protestors were slightly injured in the clashes when the demonstration turned violent and police responded with tear gas.

The leader of the "No Tav" (No to the high-speed train) movement, Alberto Perino, said demonstrators in Sunday's march would have "bare hands and clean hands, against those whose hands are neither bare nor clean".

Twenty-three local mayors are against the project, signed by Italy and France in 2001, to build the high-speed link, which would slice three hours off the current seven-hour journey time between Paris and Milan.

Work on the main 58-kilometre (36-mile) tunnel, of which 12 kilometres are in Italy, is scheduled to begin in 2013. It is to go into service around 2023.

© 2011 AFP

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