This video is called Europe Fury: People rise up against EU cash machine with anti-austerity marches.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Spanish general strike called as law wrecks workers’ rights
Friday 09 March 2012
by Our Foreign Desk
Spain‘s main trade unions called a general strike for March 29 today against regressive labour reforms and other austerity being heaped on the country by the right wing government.
EU-backed reforms imposed by PM Mariano Rajoy’s administration last month make it cheaper and easier for bosses to throw staff on the scrap heap at a time when Spain’s official unemployment rate is running at 23 per cent.
The new rules empower employers to lay off workers at the cheapest level of severance pay simply by reporting three consecutive months of declining revenue, and enable them to unilaterally slash workers’ wages.
They were officially rubber stamped on Thursday in a parliamentary vote by a 197-142 majority.
Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and the General Workers Union (UGT) called the stoppage following separate executive committee meetings.
CCOO general secretary Ignacio Fernandez Toxo likened the changes to labour laws that were introduced by the 1939-1975 fascist regime of General Francisco Franco.
“It is the most regressive reform in the history of democracy in Spain,” Mr Toxo told a news conference.
“It is a strike that is fair and necessary,” added UGT general secretary Candido Mendez, who recently observed that the Rajoy government was acting as if it had already ceded control of economic policy to the International Monetary Fund.
The unions have also called midday rallies across Spain this Sunday to protest against the attacks on working people’s hard-won rights.
Mr Rajoy’s administration has been accused of putting the boot into working people and their organisations in a bid to convince financiers that it does not require a major loan like Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
In December it imposed a €13 billion (£11bn) deficit reduction package which brought in higher income and property taxes and public spending cuts.
In addition, regional governments suffering the brunt of the cutbacks have begun making inroads into education, health care and other social services.
The government hopes that its wideranging austerity measures will help bring the national deficit, which stood at 11.2 per cent of gross domestic product in 2009, back down to the EU limit of 3 per cent by 2013.
Britain: North-west TUC’s annual conference will call on Saturday for co-ordinated industrial action by all public-sector unions to defeat the Con-Dem coalition‘s slash-and-burn policies, writes Tony Patey: here.
Ireland: Opposition mounts to government-imposed household charge: here.
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May referendum on EU austerity
Ireland: The government has announced it will hold a referendum on the EU fiscal treaty on May 31.
Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore said on Tuesday a Yes vote would boost “the influence we’ve been rebuilding with investors, job creators and our European partners.”
Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins said the treaty would trap Ireland in a state of “permanent austerity.”
Mr Higgins said the treaty would oblige Dublin to impose €5.7 billion (£4.78bn) more in cuts and tax rises.
The Irish people have already been subjected to five austerity budgets since 2008.