30 thoughts on “Greek austerity suicides rising

  1. Left gaining as austerity continues

    Thursday 22 November 2012

    Support for Bulgaria’s ruling GERB party fell to 24.5 per cent in November, dropping by 2.3 percentage points from September as the European Union’s poorest nation struggles under austerity measures.

    With less than eight months to go before general elections, support for the opposition Socialists has risen to 19 per cent from 17.5 per cent, according to a public opinion survey published today by state-funded pollster NPOC.

    Thousands of Bulgarians protested on Saturday against the government’s handling of the struggling economy and called on the cabinet to resign in one of the country’s biggest anti-austerity rallies in recent years.

    Bulgaria’s jobless rate rose to 11 per cent in October.


  2. Greek municipal workers occupy town halls protesting against public sector job losses

    Greek municipal workers occupied hundreds of town halls across the country for a fifth day last week to protest against public sector layoffs driven by the demands of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    As part of its pledges to the EU, ECB and IMF lenders, the Greek government intends to place around 27,000 workers into a layoff scheme. City and local workers are expected to be among the first to be laid off under the plan.

    “Their protests have intensified since the Greek government passed a package of austerity measures earlier this month, with workers this week staging daily sit-ins at more than two thirds of the country’s 330 city halls and several ministries,” said Reuters on November 22.

    On the same day, around 3,000 municipal workers marched in central Athens chanting “Their measures—our funeral”, holding black balloons. They carried a coffin and three wreaths in a symbolic protest against what they called the “the elimination of the public sector.”

    Over 40,000 clerks, nursery school teachers, gardeners, garbage collectors, policemen and gravediggers are employed in municipalities across the country.

    Recently released data shows that household disposable income shrank by about 14 percent in the second quarter from the same period in 2011, as wages dropped by 15 percent and taxes increased by a massive 37 percent.


    Health workers protest austerity measures in Madrid

    Thousands of public health workers protested in the Spanish capital of Madrid Tuesday against the government’s austerity measures. The demonstration was part of a second day of a public health workers strike in Madrid against the looming privatization of hospitals and health centres.

    The protesters were holding anti-austerity flags as they marched in Madrid.

    Presstv.com quoted Doctor Conchita Arroyo as saying: “Privatization cannot happen. They cannot privatize something that belongs to all of us and that we already pay for with our taxes.”

    Nurse Oscar Martinez said the government’s austerity cuts are affecting the quality of the care for patients in public hospitals. “The cuts have been so abrupt that floors that used to have four nurses now have two, and patients are the ones suffering the consequences. They do not get the same attention,” said Martinez.

    The Spanish economy, the fourth-largest in the 17-nation euro zone, went into recession in the second half of 2008, wiping out millions of jobs. Official unemployment is around 25 percent, while the youth jobless rate is double that.

    Workers at Spain’s Iberia Airlines to strike

    Workers at Spanish national airline, Iberia, are to take industrial action during the December holiday, according to a report on Spanish television network RTVE.

    Earlier this month, Iberia’s parent company the International Airlines Group (IAG) announced it would shed 4,500 jobs, 25 aircraft and several routes.

    The company also aims to impose pay cuts on the 15,500 remaining staff, with pilots to take a reduction of over 47 percent and other workers of up to 35 percent.

    Iberia’s Division Chief Executive, Rafael Sanchez-Lozano, has made it clear that the company is not willing to jeopardise its plans to make operating profit of €300 million by 2015.

    Between December 2011 and March this year, Iberia aircrew held 12 one-day strikes in protest at the launch of the Iberia low-cost airline Iberia Express and its resulting in poorer working conditions.


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