Hundreds of protesters rallied against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday, as he visited the city of Padua in northeast Italy after a call by the Speaker of Parliament for his resignation.
“Mafioso! Mafioso!” and “Resignation! Resignation!” shouted the demonstrators, as Mr Berlusconi arrived for meetings with local officials.
The protesters were pushed back by riot police officer wielding truncheons.
Parliamentary speaker Gianfranco Fini, a former ally of Mr Berlusconi turned bitter rival, called on Sunday for Mr Berlusconi to resign, threatening to pull four ministers loyal to him out of the government if he did not.
Experts say the Berlusconi-Fini feud will bring down the government.
Mr Berlusconi was in the city to view the damage from heavy rains and flooding in the region, estimated at €1 billion.