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Anti-austerity protests fall flat in much of Europe

[ 2012-03-02 10:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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Spanish students angry over austerity measures have clashed with police in Barcelona and set fire to garbage containers.

Police said officers in riot gear charged against a crowd of students outside the stock market in Spain's second-largest city in the country's northeast and made an unspecified number of arrests. They had broken away from a larger rally of thousands of striking students.

The fire set to the containers spread to a car, and protesters smashed a bank window.

Some later made their way toward the University of Barcelona and took refuge in a plaza inside the campus.

The protests started peacefully as part of a nationwide day of rallies called to protest cuts in education spending as Spain endures austerity and the prospect of recession.

Pan-Europe protest

Several thousand people took to the streets of France on Wednesday to protest against European austerity measures on the eve of an EU summit, but elsewhere in Europe the protest fell flat.

Disruption was limited as demonstrations organized by unions across the continent failed to gain momentum. Only a few hundred people protested in crisis-hit Greece while some 450 demonstrators gathered outside the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, where

European leaders will meet to sign a "fiscal treaty" committing them to balanced budgets.

In Paris, some 9,000 demonstrators marched from Bastille Square under the banner "enough is enough" to condemn belt-tightening measures.

"We are saying to the leaders, 'You cannot push ahead with European integration with so little consultation with the unions and, more broadly, with the people,'" said Bernard Thibault, the leader of France's powerful CGT union.

He denounced "a treaty that institutionalizes austerity".

One banner read "Too Much Austerity", another said, "We are all Greeks".

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Anti-austerity protests fall flat in much of Europe

About the broadcaster:

Anti-austerity protests fall flat in much of Europe

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.