FACTBOX-Europeans stage anti-austerity protests

Dec 22 (BestGrowthStock) – Here are details of recent and
forthcoming protests in Europe against austerity policies.

GREECE:

May 4-5 – Public sector workers staged a 48-hour strike. A
50,000-strong protest in Athens led to violence and three people
died in a petrol bomb attack on a bank.

July 8 – About 12,000 people marched against pension reform,
the unions’ sixth 24-hour strike against austerity measures.

Dec. 2 – Police fired tear gas during clashes with over
1,000 students, who tried to break through a police cordon to
march on the British embassy. They were protesting in solidarity
with British students and against austerity and education
reforms.

Dec. 6 – Police clashed with youths hurling petrol bombs in
Athens during protests to mark the anniversary of the 2008
police killing of a teenager.

Dec. 13 – Public transport and media workers launched a week
of anti-austerity strikes. Two days later protests escalated as
protesters threw petrol bombs at two luxury hotels in central
Athens and police fired teargas at them.

— Striking public and private sector workers had already
shut down schools and paralysed public transport and flights.

Dec. 22 – Public transport ground to a halt in Athens as
3,000 protesters rallied against the 2011 Greek budget, shouting
“We can’t take it any more”. Overall turnout was much smaller
than in previous protests and parliament was set to pass the
bill anyway.

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ITALY:

— In the past several weeks, students have been protesting
throughout Italy against austerity measures and university
reforms planned by the centre-right government.

Dec. 14 – Protesters set fire to cars, threw paint at
parliament and clashed with riot police in Rome’s worst violence
for years after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi survived a
confidence vote.

Dec. 22 – Thousands of students marched in protest against a
new university reform law as police blocked off parts of central
Rome. The law, which the government says will strengthen the
crumbling university system, but which critics say will merely
cut funding, was due for Senate approval on Wednesday though a
vote may be delayed to Thursday.

BRITAIN:

Nov. 10 – About 55,000 students protested in London against
government plans to raise the cap on university tuition fees
almost threefold to 9,000 pounds ($14,000) a year. Windows were
smashed and missiles hurled at police at the ruling Conservative
Party’s headquarters. About 66 people were arrested.

Nov. 28 – Workers on London’s underground system staged a
24-hour strike over job cuts, the fourth since September.
Another strike is planned for Dec. 26 in a row over payments.
Dec. 9 – Parliament voted to raise tuition fees as thousands
of students and others laid siege to the government district,
leading to some of the worst scenes of protest violence for
years. A limousine carrying Prince Charles and his wife was
attacked by protesters.

Dec. 20 – British union leaders warned Prime Minister David
Cameron that sharp state spending cuts would divide society and
hurt the economy and some commentators saw industrial unrest
expanding in 2011 when austerity measures bite.

CZECH REPUBLIC:

Dec. 8 – Czech public sector workers went on strike against
government plans to cut the sector’s wage bill by 10 percent. A
union leader said 123,000 workers out of about 600,000 public
sector employees joined the strike.

IRELAND:

Nov. 27 – Thousands took to the streets of Dublin to protest
against a bailout plan. The EU approved an 85 billion euro ($115
billion) rescue package the next day.

SPAIN:

Sept 29 – Spain’s first general strike in eight years,
called to oppose spending cuts, disrupted transport and
factories but the impact was limited.

Dec. 3 – A strike by air traffic controllers paralysed
airports on one of Spain’s busiest holiday weekends, leading
authorities to declare a state of emergency.

Dec. 18 – Spanish unions staged marches across the country
to protest at austerity measures and threatened another general
strike if the government did not back down on plans to raise the
retirement age to 67 from 65.
(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;)

FACTBOX-Europeans stage anti-austerity protests