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As many European Union nations plan austerity measures to pull back on public spending, critics are sceptical that budget cuts will save the regional economy in the face of a global financial crisis.

Measures across Europe seek to shrink the salaries of public employees, raise retirement ages, and cut pensions and social services.

David Cameron, the British prime minister, has already warned of "decades of pain" in his country, where public spending currently accounts for about 48 per cent of the GDP.


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The political repercussions for European leaders are yet to be seen.

Angered by government proposals, Europe's largest trade unions say they will respond this summer with nationwide labour strikes and protests.

On Tuesday's Riz Khan, we ask: How will the new wave of austerity measures effect Europeans in the long run, and will Europe's actions help or hurt the global economic recovery?

Joining the programme will be: Ann Pettifor, the executive director of Advocacy International and author of the blog, Debtonation; Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow in European Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Iain Begg, a professor at the London School of Economics.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired from Tuesday, June 22, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera