Protests spread against Monti’s economic plans

ANTI-REFORM protesters blocked roads across Italy and taxi drivers went on strike yesterday, with more groups set to rally against Prime Minister Mario Monti’s economic reforms in coming weeks.

Rising fuel taxes were the immediate cause of the disruption, but railway workers, pharmacists and lawyers are expected to go on strike soon in reaction to efforts to open up competition in protected sectors.

Meanwhile the Italian finance ministry announced companies and individuals concealed €21bn (£17.6bn) last year on which they did not pay tax.

Monti has been putting pressure on other Eurozone leaders to increase the bailout fund, though German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday rejected the demands.

The Italian PM will meet US President Barack Obama next month to discuss efforts to build up the firewall and stop the crisis spreading.