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25 Mar, 2017 05:19

‘Give Rome back to Romans’: Far-right rally blasts EU ‘tyranny’ ahead of union celebrations (VIDEO)

‘Give Rome back to Romans’: Far-right rally blasts EU ‘tyranny’ ahead of union celebrations (VIDEO)

A crowd of far-right activists waving banners that read “F**k EU” protested “tyranny in Brussels,” blaming eurocrats for inflicting poverty, austerity and uncontrollable migration upon Italians as Rome marks the 60th anniversary of a landmark European treaty.

The rally, which was called by the anti-immigrant Forze Nuova (New Force) group, saw participants gathering in the historic Primavalle quarter of Rome to chant anti-EU slogans and brandish Italian flags with “Give Rome back to Romans” slogan written across them. In abundance were also banners emblazoned with the words, “F**k EU.”

On its Facebook page, Forza Nuova said the action should serve as a “symbol of the popular resistance to tyranny in Europe,” while arguing that Rome under the EU became “invaded by immigrants, betrayed and sold by the leftists.’ 

It urged supporters to join the fight “against immigration and the policies of austerity imposed by eurocrats,” declaring that “truce is over.” The action was supposed to demonstrate that the eternal city is up in arms to “challenge Brussels” and is standing up to the European financial establishment, which the statement labeled as a “gang of bankers stealing our future.” 

The timing of the so-called “march against tyranny” that is due to continue on Saturday in central Rome, has been tailored to the pompous celebrations of anniversary of the landmark EU treaty, signed in 1957 in Rome. The treaty established the European Economic Community (EEC), a predecessor of the EU.

The protesters, however, argued that the “dictatorship” of unelected EU officials over sovereign states is nothing worth celebrating. 

“They want to replace both the Italian and European people with Third World people. We say, ‘No. Enough. Stop,’” one of the protesters told RT’s video agency Ruptly, arguing that the Italian government should focus more on the needs of Italians.

“The government should care for only the Italians. It should create policies for Italian families, social policies for Italian families, social rights and it should defend our identity,” he said.

In sharp contrast to the sentiments voiced in the streets, Pope Francis, who welcomed the representatives of the 28-nation bloc in his Vatican residence on Friday, has denounced the anti-immigrant and anti-EU rhetoric that has been on the rise across Europe. He urged the EU leaders not to see “danger” in refugees fleeing war, poverty and persecution and instead welcome their contribution to the European culture.

Calling on EU countries to maintain unity and solidarity, the Pope added an allegorical warning, saying that “when a body loses its sense of direction and is no longer able to look ahead, it experiences a regression and, in the long run, risks dying.”