Anti-Lockdown Protests Continue across Europe (+Video)
- October, 29, 2020 - 14:27
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Anti-lockdown protests continued across Europe as governments imposed further lockdowns and business closures to fight the surge of coronavirus infections.
In Italy, where violent demonstrations took place for a third night, officials accused right-wing extremists, soccer hooligans and anarchists of using widespread discontent over new anti-virus restrictions as a pretext to wage 'urban guerrilla' violence.
Minister Giuseppe Conte announced curfews in Rome, Naples and Milan Tuesday - along with curfews on restaurants and closures of gyms, pools and theatres - which he said were designed to avoid a second full lockdown, the Daily Mail reported.
While daytime protests by restaurant owners and taxi drivers were largely peaceful, Lamorgese accused a variety of fringe anti-government and virus-negating groups of using the crisis as an excuse for violence, vandalism and looting.
Italy reached a new daily record of nearly 25,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and added 205 deaths on Wednesday.
Nearly 1,000 people were admitted to hospitals nationwide and 125 more in intensive care.
Meanwhile in Barcelona taxi drivers and other hospitality workers gathered to protest, angry that lockdowns have led to a fall in demand.
On Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared a nationwide state of emergency that he hopes to extend for six months, along with night-time curfews.
Private social gatherings are limited to six people but larger public events are allowed under certain limits, including on how many people can attend.
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.
Many Spaniards are frustrated with their government's efforts to control the pandemic, which has killed more than 35,000 people and infected over a million, making Spain one of the worst hotspots in Europe.
Vast crowds gathered on the streets of Barcelona since the news was broken - with angry protesters setting dustbins on fire and marching.
Most participants in the demonstration were wearing masks as they called for clear and effective policies to tackle the economic fall-out brought about by restrictions.
However, the protesters also included COVID-19 deniers, as well as Catalan separatists, Trotskyists and anti-capitalists spraying graffiti that said 'Confine the rich', according to Spanish media.
Disagreements between the Spanish government, regional authorities and the opposition have for months hampered the response to the pandemic in Spain.
This has in turn angered many Spaniards, with analysts saying that the uncertainty might reduce people's willingness to comply with the measures.
In Berlin peaceful protests took place by members of the entertainment industry after Angela Merkel plunged Germany back into 'lockdown lite', ordering all bars and restaurants to close across the country starting on Monday.
The move will also see theatres, cinemas and leisure facilities close throughout November, though unlike the first lockdown, schools and shops will be allowed to stay open. Takeaway services are also allowed.
Merkel, who announced the move Wednesday evening after agreeing it with regional governors, said it was necessary 'to act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency'.