Middle Eastern & North African Revolution are now encircling step by step Europe


JNN 31 May 2011 : Thousands of protesters in central Madrid have voted to continue their mass sit-in against the government’s economic austerity measures.

Spain’s anti-government protesters have promised to remain in Madrid’s main square in protest at the country’s political establishment.

Thousands of angry protesters against the government’s austerity measures and growing unemployment rate raised hands on Sunday to vote for staying in the Puerta del Sol square.

On Friday, police in Barcelona used rubber bullets and batons to break up a similar rally in a central square.

In Barcelona, dozens of protesters were hurt when police cleared protesters from the Plaza de Catalunya on Friday. The police action came on the eve of Barcelona’s football final in the Champions League, when big crowds of fans were expected in the streets.

But many protesters returned to the square later and the Barcelona rally is continuing

Young people angry at high unemployment used social media widely to unite.

The Madrid protest began on 15 May and spread to other Spanish cities as word got around via Facebook and Twitter.

“We are not going! We are not going!” the crowd chanted on Sunday night, raising their hands in a vote to remain on the square.

They set no date to pack up their tents, defying the local authorities and businesses who have urged them to go.

Spain’s unemployment rate is the highest in the EU, at 21.3%. For the under-25s, it has risen to 44.6%.

“We have started something in Sol, we have started to spread to the rest of the world, so this is not the time to stop it,” a protest spokesman in the encampment said on Monday.

Thousands of protesters are also camping out in the cities of Seville, Valencia and Logrono. But in Toledo, protesters have decided to pack up a similar tent city and leave.

Voters delivered a crushing defeat to the Socialists in local elections a week ago.

Spain’s M-15 movement has inspired other European countries as well.

France

On Sunday night, police in Paris dismantled tents erected by protesters in Place de la Bastille who gathered to show their solidarity with the Spanish protesters.

A crowd of about 1,000 was dispersed by police in the square, a Paris landmark as symbolic as Madrid’s Puerta del Sol.
Hundreds of Parisians on Sunday took part in a protest rally at the Bastille Square, calling for a popular democratic uprising among Europeans, while some 20,000 Greek protesters gathered near the parliament building in Athens with the same call.

On Sunday night, police in Paris dismantled tents erected by protesters in Place de la Bastille who gathered to show their solidarity with the Spanish protesters.

A crowd of about 1,000 was dispersed by police in the square, a Paris landmark as symbolic as Madrid’s Puerta del Sol.

“The support we received internationally was very important, it was something that moved us in Sol, especially the mobilization in Paris was a very big support, and also the mobilization in Greece,” the spokesman for the Spanish protest said.

Spain has been witnessing demonstrations against the government’s austerity measures since mid-May.

The massive protests came after the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero introduced a slew of drastic austerity measures.

The measures include the cutting of civil servant wages, as part of its plans to curb the budget deficit from 11 percent a year earlier to within three percent of the GDP, a limit set by the European Union by 2013.

Greece

Thousands of people have once again flocked the streets in Athens, protesting for a fifth day against their government’s austerity policies, inspired by the M-15 movement in Spain.

Police estimated some 30,000 protesters to have gathered at the central Syntagma Square in the Greek capital of Athens, in the largest set of anti-government demonstrations since Wednesday.

Sunday’s demonstration however, was inspired by an online campaign on various social network sites, which called for anti-government demonstrations across all of Europe, modeled by the Spanish M-15 movement, AFP reported.

Further, the online campaign called on the demonstrators to demand “real democracy.”

Banners that read “poverty is the greatest abuse” were used in the demonstrations in front of the parliament building in Athens.

Other groups of protesters were beating empty pots while chanting “thieves”.

“I’m here to say that I’ve had enough. It’s not right to have to pay for politicians’ mistakes,” said Vivi Villa.

She did however, admit that leaders will not take their actions seriously and so nothing will in fact change.

The protests come as the Greek government is planning to impose a new austerity package in efforts to secure the new International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout installment.

Greece received a 110 billion EU-IMF bailout loan last year, as it faced a massive debt crisis.

The bailout loan saved Greece from the brink of default. However, Athens was obliged to implement a strict austerity package, including the cutting of public sector salary and pensions, increasing taxes and overhauling the pension system, to survive.

Moreover, the country is again struggling to not face yet another debt crisis, as it is again seeking financial aid.

Since last year, Greece has witnessed several violent clashes between police forces and protesters, where many on both sides have been injured.

Sunday’s protests however, was the largest gathering yet since the protests commenced again this Wednesday.

A poll conducted recently, found that Greeks no longer have confidence their government can pull the country out of their national debt, as reported by AFP.

A further 57 percent agreed that “approved or somewhat approved” of the anti-government demonstrations taking place. The poll was published in the Greek daily To Vima.


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One thought on “Middle Eastern & North African Revolution are now encircling step by step Europe

  1. Pingback: Greek protesters occupy Key Ministries, against tough austerity measures given by IMF « Jafria News

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