Police, demonstrators clash in Italy during high-speed rail protest

Demonstrators clashed with police in Rome Wednesday, throwing smoke bombs in a square where people had gathered to protest a high-speed rail link being built between France and Italy.

According to Reuters, the protest took place around the Campo de' Fiori while Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta met French President Francois Hollande in the capital.

The Italian government says the line would cut in half the time of travel between Paris and Milan to four hours and is necessary to strengthen transport links, Reuters reported.

Police reportedly pushed a group of demonstrators down a street away from the square as the protesters threw bottles and flares at them.

The protesters are concerned about the environmental impact of the rail and whether Italy should be spending money on the project when it could be used to help recession-affected families.

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