Rome, November 8 - Italy's provincial government association (Upi) on Thursday threatened to turn off the heating in schools across the country in protest against funding cuts, forcing students to stay at home. The initiative "stems from protests against the 500 million euros of cuts" contained in a recent government spending review, Upi president Antonio Saitta explained. Saitta added that the provinces - which provide certain public education services on behalf of the central government - could also suspend maintenance work on school buildings for the same reason. "Decisions such as these need to be fully explained to students and their parents," said the Uip president. "It must be explained in particular that the government does not have the courage to carry out a spending review on itself". In July Upi warned that the opening of the new school year after the summer vacation was at risk due to lack of funds. The government spending review aims to save 26 billion euro over the next three years by making broad cuts in the public administration, health, education and defence sectors among other areas.