EU summit greeted by anti-austerity protests

Published: 25/03/2011 01:00

0

100 views

Tens of thousands of
people marched here Thursday against austerity measures as European Union (EU)
leaders were to begin a crucial summit to endorse a comprehensive response to
the year-long debt crisis.


Protestors participate
the demonstration in Brussels, capital of Belgium on March 24, 2011. Some
20,000 people marched here Thursday against austerity measures as European
Union (EU) leaders were to begin a crucial summit to endorse a
comprehensive response to the year-long debt crisis. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)

Some 20,000 people were expected to show up for the
demonstration organized by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
during the morning rush hour, according to local police.


The demonstrators wearing red jackets occupied a main road
connecting the part of the Belgian capital that houses EU institutions to the
city center, severely disrupting traffic.


The Belgian police created an extended security cordon
around the building where EU leaders will meet later Thursday. The two metro
stations in the EU district were closed for security reasons.


Local residents were also told not to park their cars along
the route of the demonstration, which was called to show people’s anger at the
austerity measures and economic reform plans introduced by EU governments to
tackle the sovereign debt crisis in many of their countries.


The protests were “to say ’no’ to austerity plans in
Europe, no to cuts in wages and pensions, no to insecurity and unemployment,
no to deregulation of labor standards and social regression, and no to rising
social inequalities,” the ETUC said on its website.


At the two-day summit, EU leaders are expected to put the
finishing touches to a package of measures to deal with the debt crisis.


It includes an expansion of the EU’s bailout fund,
establishment of a permanent rescue mechanism in the eurozone, lower interest
rates on bailout loans provided to Greece and Ireland, a new round of stress
tests in the banking sector and reforms to improve economic competitiveness
and convergence of eurozone economies.


Trade unions were particularly concerned about the
so-called Pact for the Euro, or competitiveness pact in its original name as
tabled by Germany and France. The pact would see eurozone governments push
ahead with painful reforms and co-ordinate their economies more closely to
boost competitiveness.


Eurozone countries such as Belgium would be asked, when
necessary, to review wage indexation mechanisms, which lead to automatic pay
rises based on inflation.


Trade unions have been complaining the pact would undermine
many cherished workers’ rights and workers should not be forced to pay for the
mistakes of the financial sector and governments.


VietNamNet/Xinhuanet

Provide by Vietnam Travel

EU summit greeted by anti-austerity protests - International - News |  Vietnam travel  |  Vietnam in photo  |  vietnam travel company

You can see more



enews & updates

Sign up to receive breaking news as well as receive other site updates!

Ads by Adonline