Protests against 'austerity summit' turn violent
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Trade union protests outside an EU summit in Brussels against the austerity being imposed across the continent by the bloc turned violent on Thursday (24 March), as riot police battled rock-wielding demonstrators with water cannon and pepper spray.
Four separate marches across the European capital comprising some 20,000 workers, according to organizers, converged on the meeting of European premiers and presidents. Police put the figure closer to 12,000.
The unions are protesting the imposition of the deepest level of economic integration in the EU's history - the delivery of 'economic governance' in the union that will require wage restraint, hikes in retirement ages, public sector cutbacks and limits on government spending, amongst other stringent measures.
"This happens while bankers and CEOs are continuing to receive huge and scandalous bonuses and pay and very little has been done to remove what really causes the crisis," ETUC said in a statement.
"The European trade union movement stands clearly against these policies and states that this is not only unfair because the burden is carried only by the ones who are not responsible for the crisis, but also wrong from a economic and strategic point of view."
Sources: EU Observer
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