Posts tagged austerity measures
Posts tagged austerity measures
Some 10,000 Israelis took to the streets on Saturday to protest against impending austerity measures proposed by new Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
Protesters march during an anti-austerity rally in central Athens on February 20, 2013. Tens of thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday during a nationwide strike against wage cuts and high taxes that kept ferries stuck in ports, schools shut and hospitals with only emergency staff. The banner reads, “Jobs”.
[Credit : John Kolesidis/Reuters]
Riot police detain a protester, during riots against budget cuts and alleged corruption. The demonstrations are the largest so far in a string of protests organised over Facebook which started earlier in Maribor, where people demonstrated against the mayor, and have since spread to most other cities. (via Reuters.com)
The general strike of November 14, 2012, in Portugal, brought once again the crowds to the streets across the country, to take a stand against growing austerity. The real motivations for people to demonstrate however, have fallen away from mainstream media’s attention due to “visually appealing” and unfortunate events: by the end of an intense day of peaceful marches and sit-ins, confrontations between police and protesters turned violence into the main top news.
‘Enough is enough!’ Anti-austerity strikes sweep Europe
Police and protesters clashed in Spain, Italy and Portugal on Wednesday as millions of workers went on strike in organized labour’s biggest Europe-wide challenge to austerity policies since the eurozone debt crisis erupted three years ago.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled, schools were shut, factories were at a standstill and trains barely ran in Spain and Portugal where unions held their first joint general strike. Stoppages in Belgium interrupted international rail services.
“I’m on strike because those who work are basically being blackmailed into sacrificing more and more in the name of debt reduction, which is a big lie,” said Daniel Santos de Jesus, 43, who teaches architecture at the Lisbon Technical University.
Photo: A man holds a flare as thousands of people from France and Belgium demonstrate during an anti-austerity protest in Lille, France, Nov. 14. (Philippe Hugen//AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-austerity protests rock Spain, Portugal
NBC News: Tens of thousands of people in both Spain and Portugal took to the streets Saturday to protest against austerity cuts.
In Spain protesters marched on Parliament in Madrid for the third time this week. Spain has the highest unemployment rate of any of the countries on the Euro.
A retired banker in Portugal said the country’s budget cuts are making Portugal’s economy worse than ever before. Many young Portuguese are moving abroad to make a living.
Photo: Protestors shout slogans as they fill up Neptuno Square during a demonstration against government austerity measures in Madrid. (Sergio Perez / Reuters)
Tens of thousands of Greeks take to the streets in largest anti-austerity protest in a year
Greek police clashed with hooded rioters hurling petrol bombs as tens of thousands took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday in Greece’s biggest anti-austerity protest in more than a year.
Violence erupted after nearly 70,000 people marched to parliament chanting “We won’t submit to the troika (of lenders)” and “EU, IMF Out!” on the day of a general strike against a new round of cuts demanded by foreign lenders. (Photos: AP Photo; AFP/GettyImages)
Leaders of Greece’s fragile coalition government have agreed 11.5bn euros (£9bn) in new spending cuts needed to keep its EU/IMF bailout.
The cuts were required for Greece to qualify for the next 31.5bn euro instalment of the 130bn euro loan.
Without the funds, Greece would face bankruptcy and probably leave the euro.
The deal came after the two junior coalition parties shelved demands for an immediate renegotiation of the bailout terms to delay the cuts.
Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has argued that Greece must regain credibility before it can ask its international creditors for an extension to its 2013-4 austerity deadline.
“The prime minister said that it must be accepted - as a necessary condition for our country to remain in the eurozone and to be able to negotiate further - to cut public spending by another 11.5bn [euros],” Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said after the meeting.
“That position was accepted.”
He said the government would finalise the cuts by the end of August and would seek to “minimise the social effects”.
The austerity measures are expected to include new reductions in state benefits and pensions.
The leader of the socialist Pasok, the second-largest party backing the government, said he had temporarily set aside demands for an immediate renegotiation in order to avoid early elections.
“If the prime minister feels that immediately adopting the measures worth 11.5bn euros will safeguard future loan releases and the country’s place in the euro, I am forced to accept his view,” Evangalos Venizelos said.
Both he and Fotis Kouvelis, leader of the the third coalition party, the Democratic Left, said they would continue to fight for a renegotiation, and insisted that the burden of the cuts should be fair.
Greece’s “troika” of international creditors - the EU, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) - have said they will not release the next bailout payment if they are not satisfied by next month that Greece has made sufficient progress in implementing spending cuts and economic reform.
Pictured: Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is under international pressure to deliver cuts and economic reform
Six people have been killed in violent protests against high transport prices in the Darfur region of western Sudan, local officials say.
Police in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, fired tear gas at protesters throwing stones and burning tyres in the streets, witnesses said.
Several protesters chanted slogans calling for the government’s downfall.
Since June, Sudan has seen sporadic protests against government austerity measures, including fuel subsidy cuts.
The country’s authorities have been trying to cut spending since Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil revenue when South Sudan seceded last year.
Demonstrators in Nyala chanted “No to high prices” and “People want to change the regime”, according to witnesses.
Bothina Mohmed Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the state of South Darfur, said it was not known how the six deaths had happened, and that an investigation had been launched.
Opposition activists and media accused the police of using live ammunition.
Coal miners angered by huge cuts in subsidies have converged on Madrid for protest rallies after walking for nearly three weeks
Sudan Revolts Mini-Round-Up. Sudan has seen ten (going on eleven) consecutive days of mass anti-austerity protests, which have continued despite (or perhaps, at this point, spurred on by) brutal crackdown. Expect continued coverage.
- “Sudanese Protests Rage On Despite Wide-Scale Crackdown.” Al-Ahram. June 25.
- “Wishful Spring Thinking or the Beginning of the End for Bashir?“ Time. June 25.
- “Sudan offers no fuel concessions to angry protesters.” Al-Akhbar. June 25.
- “Bashir says Sudan protests are no Arab Spring.” Al Jazeera. June 25.
Spurring growth will be a huge task
At the G8 in Camp David, the richest countries have agreed to boost growth, particularly in Europe. This requires a radical change in tack from the austerity policies pushed so far. Are the leaders ready?
In 1990 Sweden suffered a severe financial crisis provoked by the bursting of a housing bubble, which was sorted out to some extent by creating a “bad bank” for each entity in difficulty. The government took swift action to rescue troubled banks, whose losses came to 12 percent of GDP. After the financial crisis came a recession that saw real growth (adjusted for inflation) fall by four percent. It would be another four years before the Swedish economy returned to pre-crisis GDP.
History teaches that prosperity cannot be had without a financial system that works normally (generating credit to households and businesses), and that the mere fact of stabilising the financial system is no guarantee of prosperity. What is needed is a rescue plan for the real economy to boost production and create jobs that is at least as intense in its goals as the bailout.
This has been forgotten in Europe over the past two years, with results obvious to everyone: the risk premiums of countries in trouble have not dropped, nor have those states cut their deficits as expected. Almost all of them have increased the public debt and have seen rises in unemployment, in the impoverishment of the middle classes, and in business mortality.
The G-8 Summit at Camp Davis is now trying to stave off total collapse and generate support for banks and for citizens too. Is the intellectual climate of our times truly changing, shifting from austerity to growth? That’s what the final communiqué of the meeting says. It is time to escape the Minsky moment (named after the economist of the same name) in which debtors cannot pay, creditors do not want to pay, and everyone is trying to write off the debt at the same time.
(Reuters) - German police said they detained 400 anti-capitalist protesters in Frankfurt on Friday for defying a ban on demonstrations against austerity policies implemented to tackle the intensifying euro zone debt crisis.
The demonstration in the German financial capital was part of a four-day-long “Blockupy” protest, due to run until Saturday, against capitalism and austerity measures.
“Hungry? Eat a banker,” read one banner protesters held up outside the Messeturm skyscraper housing Goldman Sachs’ offices. Reuters’ Frankfurt office is also in the building.
Police closed several main roads in Frankfurt - including a main artery into the city that passes by the Messeturm - and flooded the center with officers. There was no violence.
The protesters are angry at the misery they say governments are inflicting on people with their response to the crisis, which has intensified since inconclusive elections in Greece this month fueled concerns about its future in the euro zone.
“The Greek austerity measures are making Greece go kaputt even faster,” said protester Leonard Loch, 37, from Hamburg.
The European Central Bank reported no trouble on Friday and commercial banks, many of whom have made contingency plans to cope with the protests, said their operations were running smoothly.
“Our operating business is not curtailed. We were well prepared,” said a Commerzbank spokeswoman.
Pictured: Protesters march during an anti-austerity demonstration in Frankfurt May 18, 2012. Credit: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
KAL’s cartoon: this week, a sculpture.