Italy's Monti to unveil crisis plan amid strikes

By the Associated Press | November 17, 2011 | 5:00 AM EST

Italian premier Mario Monti uses the bell he just received from former premier Silvio Berlusconi to open the first cabinet meeting of the new government at Chigi palace premier office after the swearing ceremony, in Rome Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Roberto Monaldo, Lapresse) ITALY OUT

ROME (AP) — University students are protesting in Milan and Rome against budget cuts and a lack of jobs, hours before new Italian Premier Mario Monti reveals his anti-crisis strategy in Parliament.

Across Italy, transport unions called all-day walkouts or strikes of several hours Thursday to demand better work contracts.

Scuffles among students were reported at the start of the demonstration in Milan, where they hoped to march to Bocconi University, which trains Italy's business elite. Monti, an economist, is Bocconi's president.

Rome protesters planned to march to the Senate, where Monti is scheduled to speak in the afternoon ahead of a confidence vote on the government he formed on Wednesday.

A transit strike idled the subway and many buses in Rome. Alitalia warned of flight delays.