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Italians burn energy bills in protest over soaring costs

Electricity bills in Italy set to rise by 59 per cent.

Italians set fire to gas and electricity bills in protest against soaring energy costs during demonstrations in cities across Italy on Monday.

The nationwide protests, organised by the Italian trade union USB, were held in cities including Rome, Milan, Naples and Bologna.

Protesters say that workers, families and businesses cannot afford to pay the increasingly exorbitant energy bills, particularly as winter approaches.

Italy's energy regulator Arera warned in recent days that electricity bills for the average Italian household are set to rise by 59 per cent in the fourth quarter of this year.

This increase would mean that the average household will pay €1,322 on electricity this year (1 January-31 December 2022), compared to an average of 632 last year.

Italy's outgoing government led by Mario Draghi has already spent some €66 billion since January to offset spiralling energy bills and is engaged in talks to discuss energy price caps at a European level.

Draghi is set to be succeeded as premier by Giorgia Meloni, the leader of a right-wing alliance that won the general election on 25 September.

Addressing an agricultural fair in Milan last weekend, Meloni pledged that her government would "defend the national interest" in order to find "common solutions" to tackling soaring energy costs.

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