Several thousand students and teachers have marched through central Rome to protest against austerity measures that have cut into education spending.

Prime Minister Mario Monti, appointed a year ago when Italy came close to a Greek-style debt crisis, has pushed through painful tax hikes and spending cuts to try to rein in public finances at a time when schools and universities say they desperately need more support.

Several other protests took place in Rome, including a rally organised by a far-right group as well as an anti-fascist march.

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