Austerity Measures Spark Violent Protests In Europe
Over 200,000 furious Greeks packed the streets of Athens to protest the paralyzing austerity measures brought forth by the government. This is the first major confrontation between the people and their 3-month old coalition govt. People are fed up with massive spending cuts and continued poverty.
The protests and strikes are in opposition to wage and pension cuts which add up to $15.3 billion over the next couple of years. The govt. claims that the cuts are necessary so they will be eligible for more rescue funds that will come from international lenders.
Members of the army, navy, the police and judicial system workers, joined together with the protesters form both the private and public sectors to voice their frustration with such drastic measures. One unnamed cop claims that the government “should feel deep shame” for employing such hurtful cuts to people who protect them.
Austerity measures have been pummeling the Greeks since 2009, when the European debt crises began. The purchasing power of Greece has dropped over 50% during the rise of joblessness and poverty around the country.
In Madrid, the Bank of Spain announced Wednesday that the country is in a very deep recession. The unemployment rate is over 25% and heading higher very quickly. Protesters clashed with police, which led to 38 arrests and 64 people being injured.
These austerity measures have not worked in the past and they will not work in the future. They are the same measures that the Republican Party in the U.S. has been pushing for years. Countries must continue to invest for the future until growth can make its way back into the system. Shutting down spending alone will not cure the problem.
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