Rome on high security before EU's 60th anniversary

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-25 16:24

"As Europeans, we are aware of the full scope of the current changes, and we need new ideas and solutions to respond to today's challenges," Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday, after a meeting with EU heads of states and Catholic Pope Francis.

"We have to do this especially for our youth -- the EU's Millennials -- who are the first EU natives, and the best-educated generation of our common history," Gentiloni added.

Besides the anti-terror alert, security forces will have to oversee six demonstrations that were authorized to take place in the capital across the weekend.

Organized by both pro-EU and anti-EU groups, the rallies might draw up to 25,000 people overall, Ansa news agency reported.

Special attention would be paid to the anti-EU demonstrations for fear of possible infiltrations by radical, violent minorities, according to security sources.

Various side-events and debates were also planned to celebrate the date and to discuss EU's current major social and political challenges.

Among such initiatives, a meeting was held earlier on Friday with trade unions and business associations, Italy's Gentiloni, and EU representatives including European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker.

"At EU level, we are not discussing issues that really concern people in their daily life," Juncker said at the event. "This is why the gap between European policy-makers and common citizens is widening."


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