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Taxi and truck drivers stop traffic while protesting in Italy

Reuters

A woman walks in front of taxis parked to protest against the government's deregulation plans, in downtown Bologna January 23, 2012. Truckers blocked roads throughout Italy and taxi drivers resumed a strike on Monday as opposition mounted to fuel tax rises and economic reforms aimed at opening up competition in protected sectors including transport and pharmacies.

Massimo Pinca / AP

A line of trucks block a ringroad around Turin Italy, as the Alps are seen in background, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Truck drivers in Italy angered by an increase in gas prices introduced as part of the government's austerity measures have blocked highways near Milan in the north and Naples in the south. Also protesting Monday were taxi drivers who went on strike across Italy over plans to issue more taxi licenses. The measure is part of a liberalization package approved last week by the government as it seeks to convince investors it has a strategy to deal with its debts. Truck drivers brought their protest to the mainland after bringing goods transport to a near halt in Sicily last week.

Giorgio Perottino / Reuters

Monica, a German trucker gestures on the Turin highway during a truckers' protest against the government's deregulation plans in Turin January 23, 2012. Truckers blocked roads throughout Italy and taxi drivers resumed a strike on Monday as opposition mounted to fuel tax rises and economic reforms aimed at opening up competition in protected sectors including transport and pharmacies.

Reuters reports that other labor groups, including railway workers and lawyers, may strike also:

Speaking on RAI state radio, Interior Minister Annamaria Cancellieri said authorities were following the protests "with close attention".

"We cannot rule out this discontent leading to protests of a different kind," she said, in an apparent concern that the situation could get out of control.