″No B Day″: protests against Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 05.12.2009
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"No B Day": protests against Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi

Fed up with the man leading their country, tens of thousands of Italians have called for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign amid widespread accusations of corruption.

Italian protesters against Silvio Berlusconi

Protesters called for Silvio Berlusconi to step down

Tens of thousands of Italians have taken part in protests in Rome demanding that the country's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi quit his post.

The national demonstration was organized by grassroots organizations from around Italy which ran appeals on internet and social networking sites calling for the rally.

The crowd, estimated by police to be around 90,000, included actors and writers, including Nobel laureate Dario Fo.

Berlusconi has faced several charges recently of bribery, tax fraud and false accounting. He has also been accused of attempting to reform Italy's judicial system in a way that would be beneficial to himself. Berlusconi denies all the accusations against him.

While many Italian politicians chose to stay out of the fray, some decided to get involved.

"This a day of democracy, a day that shows that the country can come together to build an alternative and most of all to tell Berlusconi to go," said Antonio di Pietro, an ex anti-graft magistrate who heads the opposition Italy of Values party.

The demonstration was called "No B Day" (No Berlusconi Day), and participants were encouraged to wear violet, as that color is not represented in any of Italy's political parties.

Protesters carry a banner reading Berlusconi, Resignation in Italian

The banner reads "Berlusconi, Resignation"

Editor: Darren Mara

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