European Union workers stage anti-austerity protests and strikes
Trade unions are staging a series of demonstrations and “general strikes” across the European Union to protest at austerity measures that are blamed for driving up unemployment and pushing down growth.
By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels, Fiona Govan in Madrid, Nick Squires in Rome and Henry Samuel in Paris
14 Nov 2012
There is a growing backlash against cuts to public services and “internal devaluation” policies that have targeted wages and Europe’s high level of social protection in a bid to restore competitiveness to the EU’s highly indebted economies.
The picture is pretty grim. This year unemployment is expected to reach 10.5 per cent in the EU and 11.3 per cent in the euro area – record levels.
EU forecasts predict joblessness rates will climb even further, hitting 10.9 per cent in the EU, over 26 million people out of work, and 11.8 per cent in the euro area in 2013.
In Greece, unemployment is 23.6 per cent, reaching 54 per cent among young people. One thousand Greeks are losing their jobs every day.
Spain, a country that was not in debt before the banking crisis in 2008 and was often cited as an EU growth model, youth unemployment has hit over 55 per cent and the recession is still deepening.