Europe grinds to a halt as series of strikes and austerity protests begin

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
By Paul Martin


Workers across the European Union sought to unite in a string of strikes and demonstrations against austerity measures today.

They have faced increased taxes and cuts in spending, pensions and benefits to bring public debt under control.

The result has been a dramatic drop in living standards in many nations that leaders have accepted as collateral for policies they claim are unavoidable. With no end in sight to the economic misery, workers were trying to take a stand.

“Of course it’s a political strike, against the policies of a suicidal and anti-social government,” said Igancio Fernandez Toxo, a CCOO Spanish union leader, as the general strike spread through Spain where a 25% unemployment rate has put the country at the heart of the EU social unrest.

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