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Furious anti-lockdown protests erupt across Europe

Protests erupted across Europe last night as thousands of angry demonstrators called on their Governments to reconsider a second-round of lockdown restrictions.

In Italy, violence was reported in at least two major northern cities, Milan and Turin, as vast crowds protested freedom-limiting restrictions enforced to tackle a second surge in coronavirus cases.

Witnesses said a number of luxury stores, including a Gucci shop, were ransacked in central Turin as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off huge firecrackers and lighting coloured flares.

Meanwhile in Barcelona, demonstrators set rubbish bins on fire in the streets - before riot police intervened to bring the chaos to an end.

The demonstrations came just one day after Spain declared a second nation-wide state of emergency covering all regions except the Canary Islands.

The new state of emergency will initially last for 15 days but the Government plans to ask parliament for a six-month extension, meaning the restrictions - which include a 11pm to 6am curfew - could be enforced until early May 2021.

Protests erupted across Italy and Spain last night as thousands of angry demonstrators called on their Governments to reconsider a second-round of lockdown restrictions. Vast crowds gathered on the streets of Barcelona with angry protesters setting dustbins on fire (pictured)

In Turin, witnesses said a number of luxury stores, including a Gucci shop (pictured), were ransacked as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off huge firecrackers and lighting coloured flares

There were also clashes in Milan (pictured), the capital of the neighbouring Lombardy region, an area that has borne the brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy 

Hundreds of people gathered to protest against the measures implemented to stop the second spike of Covid-19 cases in Naples

Demonstrators stand by a burning dustbin as clashes broke out during a demonstration in Turin, Italy, on Monday

Clashes between demonstrators and police were seen during a protest against the measures implemented by the government in Turin on Monday

In Turin, police responded with volleys of tear gas as they tried to restore order on Monday night.

There were also clashes in Milan, the capital of the neighbouring Lombardy region, an area that has borne the brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy.

'Freedom, freedom, freedom,' crowds chanted as they confronted police in the city centre.

Italy saw a record 21,268 cases in one day on Sunday - the highest daily figure the country saw during the pandemic - followed by a further 17,012 on Monday. More than 37,400 people have died in total.

The Italian government on Sunday ordered bars and restaurants to close by 6pm and shut public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to try to slow a second wave of coronavirus infections that is battering much of the country.

In Milan, crowds chanted 'freedom, freedom, freedom' as they confronted police in the city centre. Pictured: Clashes between protesters and police in Milan

 In Turin, police responded with volleys of tear gas as they tried to restore order on Monday night. Pictured: Demonstrators next to a fire in Turin

A fire is seen burning on the street in Turin as demonstrators protest restrictions imposed to curb the second wave of coronavirus

Police fire tear gas as clashes broke out during a protest in Turin on Monday night. Demonstrators were protesting Government-imposed measures to curb the spread of coronavirus

Italy saw a record 21,268 cases in one day on Sunday - the highest daily figure the country saw during the pandemic - followed by a further 17,012 on Monday. More than 37,400 people have died in total. Pictured: Clashes in Turin

The Italian government on Sunday ordered bars and restaurants to close by 6pm and shut public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to try to slow a second wave of coronavirus infections that is battering much of the country. Pictured: A demonstration in Turin

Police officers stand guard as protesters gather during an anti-government demonstration on October 26 in Turin, Italy

A damaged store front can be seen as protesters gather during an anti government demonstration on October 26 in Turin, Italy

A number of regions, including Lombardy and Piedmont, have also imposed nighttime curfews.

Many small businesses, still badly bruised by an initial nationwide lockdown in March and April, say the new restrictions could bankrupt them.

While Italians complied peacefully to the spring lockdown, there has been an immediate pushback against the renewed restrictions. 

Protesters took to the streets of up to a dozen cities on Monday, including Treviso, Trieste, Viareggio, Latina, Rome, Naples, Salerno, Palermo, Siracusa and Catania.

Protesters took to the streets of up to a dozen cities on Monday, including Treviso, Trieste, Viareggio, Latina, Rome, Naples (pictured), Salerno, Palermo, Siracusa and Catania

Hundreds of people gathered to protest against the measures implemented to stop the Covid-19 second wave in Naples on Monday

Vast crowds - many of whom wore protective face masks - were seen gathered in the streets of Naples on Monday

Huge crowds were seen in Naples on Monday. Italy, once the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the industrialised world, has been overtaken by others in Europe including France and Britain. But infection rates have been rebounding rapidly since the start of October

The air turned red during clashes between demonstrators and police at an anti-lockdown protest in Milan on Monday

Police wearing helmets and clutching riot shields were seen during demonstrations in Milan, Italy, on Monday

Protesters are seen walking along the streets amid clashes between demonstrators and police in Milan on Monday

A protester is seen confronting police officers and the Carabinieri as they stand guard at the Central Station area during anti-government demonstrations in Milan, Italy

Fires are seen blazing in the streets of Turin after anti-lockdown protests sparked chaos. New measures includes the 6pm closure of restaurants

The air is red and filled with smoke during clashes between demonstrators and police in Milan on Monday night

Police officers and the Carabinieri stand guard at the Central Station area during anti-government demonstrations on October 26 in Milan

Metal barriers go flying amid demonstrations protesting the new Covid-19 regulations in Italy on Monday night 

Looking to calm tensions, the government has said it will present a package of measures on Tuesday to support businesses hurt by the new restrictions.

Italy, once the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the industrialised world, has been overtaken by others in Europe including France and Britain. But infection rates have been rebounding rapidly since the start of October. 

Meanwhile in Spain, authorities in the Catalonia region are considering imposing a lockdown on weekends to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

It comes just days after a nighttime curfew came into effect across the country as a second nation-wide state of emergency was declared.

Last week saw Spain becoming the first European country to record more than a million cases of the virus - and almost 35,000 people have died from it.

On Monday alone, 17,396 people tested positive for coronavirus and there 93 deaths. Sunday saw 13,658 cases.

Vast crowds gathered on the streets of Barcelona - with angry protesters setting dustbins on fire and marching while clutching signs reading: 'F*** Covid-talism'. 

Most participants in the demonstration were wearing masks as they called for clear and effective policies to tackle the economic fall-out brought about by restrictions.

Riot police eventually went in to break up the demonstration, onlookers said.  

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