[QODLink]
Europe

Anti-austerity protests held across Europe

Demonstrators take to streets in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Germany as anger against continent-wide cutbacks grows.

Last Modified: 01 Jun 2013 18:06
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Demonstrators across Europe have embarked on protests against government austerity measures. 

Protesters took to the streets in Spain, Portugal and Greece on Saturday to direct their anger against the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) while in Germany, demonstrators rallied for the second day in succession. 

Protesters say they are demonstrating against the institutions' role in pushing for austerity cutbacks as a way to fight the continent's debt crisis.

On Friday, members of the Blockupy alliance linked arms for several hours in the streets of Germany's financial capital, Frankfurt, blocking routes leading up to the ECB.

A spokesman for the ECB said the bank remained in operation, without providing details about where its employees were working.

Along with the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, the ECB is part of the so-called troika that monitors compliance with the conditions of bailout loans negotiated by the governments of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

'A success' 

Those conditions include spending cuts and tax increases aimed at reducing debt. The measures, however, have also worsened recessions and unemployment. 

We wanted to blockade the ECB and we did that with more than 3,000 people.

Spokesman Roland Suess

After the ECB demonstration, several hundred protesters moved to Deutsche Bank's nearby headquarters.

Their spokesman Roland Suess said the demonstration was a success: "We wanted to blockade the ECB and we did that with more than 3,000 people.''

The Blockupy movement includes people who participated in the Occupy movement which protested against the role of global capitalism by camping out in cities in a number of countries, as well as critics of globalisation and  embers of left-wing organisations. 

The unemployment rate across the 17 European countries that use the euro hit a record 12.2 percent in April, and the number of unemployed is on track to reach 20 million by year's end.

The worsening jobs crisis points to the recession that has gripped the euro alliance.

Many countries are struggling to stimulate growth while grappling with a debt crisis that's led governments to slash spending and raise taxes. 

351

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.