Austerity measures are all very well and good for the financiers of the world but they are not much fun for those thrown out of work because of them. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the tough measures being imposed in Europe as governments struggle to rein in budget deficits blown out as part of the global financial crisis is just how subservient the workers have been as their jobs disappear. But now, it seems, the revolt is beginning.
The BBC reports this morning that thousands of people from across the EU are expected to march in Brussels to protest against sweeping austerity measures by many national governments. The European Trade Union Confederation says its protest could be one of the biggest in Belgium’s capital for years.
According to the BBC, the union says EU workers could become the biggest victims of a financial crisis set off by bankers and traders. A general strike against cuts is expected in Spain and protests are also due to be held in other EU states.
In Greece and the Republic of Ireland, unemployment figures are at their highest level in 10 years, while Spain’s unemployment has doubled in just three years. In Britain, the government is planning to slash spending by up to 25%, while France has seen angry protests against a planned increase in the minimum retirement age.