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Italian police fire tear gas at demonstrators protesting PM's arrival in Naples (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Italian police fire tear gas at demonstrators protesting PM's arrival in Naples (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
Police have fired tear gas during clashes with stone-throwing protesters in Naples, Italy. Over 2,000 demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest the arrival of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Officers have also deployed water cannon, according to La Stampa. 

Protesters opposed the plan to revive the former industrial site, whose renovation is scheduled to begin in 2016 and be completed in 2018 or 2019, claiming that the urban development initiative, which is aimed at providing the area with much needed new facilities while restoring its environment, had been planned without input from the local community.

Posted by IV Reparto Mobile Napoli on Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris, who is at loggerheads with Renzi, declared his city a “Renzi-free zone.” He has blamed the prime minister more than once for not consulting with him on the development of the Bagnoli district.

Video posted online showed protesters marching through the city carrying a huge banner which stated: "Napoli distrusts Renzi's government." 

The same banner stated that the protesters are against the Jobs Act imposed by Renzi. Although the act was praised by big business, unions have claimed that it undermines workers' rights and allows for easier dismissal.

Violent anti-Renzi protests: water cannons & tear gas used

Watch street clashes in Italy as PM Renzi visits Naples: Police use tear gas & water cannon on anti-Renzi protesters

Опубликовано RT Play 6 апреля 2016 г.

Many of the protesters are people who are unemployed or have been laid-off, according to La Stampa. 

One demonstrator was shown carrying a sign with Renzi's face on it which read: "Banished from Naples." 

Another placard said: "Renzi stay at home."

A large Pinocchio puppet representing Matteo Renzo dressed in a T-Shirt bearing the Partito Democratico’s letters “PD,” was placed in the middle of the protest scene. Partito Democratico is Italy’s Democratic Party.

Un #Renzi formato Pinocchio

Фото опубликовано Alessio Viscardi (@alessioviscardi)

Some foreign tourist and passers-by found themselves caught up in the clashes and had to resort to hiding in the nearest bars and restaurants, while four policemen suffered slight injures, according to local media reports.

Renzi is in Naples to attend a meeting on the redevelopment of the city's Bagnoli neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the city itself was more welcoming of Renzi, even going so far as to inspect sewers and move garbage containers from areas which the prime minister would be visiting, ANSA news agency reported.