News / Europe

    European Austerity Measures Spark Strikes, Demonstrations

    Portuguese professional Fire Department 'Bombeiros Sapadores do Porto' are seen during a general strike day protesting the government's austerity measures outside their headquarters in Porto, Portugal, 24 Nov 2010
    Portuguese professional Fire Department 'Bombeiros Sapadores do Porto' are seen during a general strike day protesting the government's austerity measures outside their headquarters in Porto, Portugal, 24 Nov 2010

    As governments across Europe tighten their belts, protests and strikes are becoming more common in the region. In Britain, students demonstrated across the country in protest of rising university costs; in Portugal the government's two biggest unions are striking in protest of austerity measures; the Irish government is announcing its four-year austerity plan, a requirement for International Monetary Fund and European Union financial loans and aid.

    Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced measures aimed at raising $20 billion through taxes and spending cuts.

    "Today we've come to announce a four-year plan between now and 2014," said Cowen. "It's to bring certainty for our people, it's to ensure they have hope for the future. To let them know that while we have a challenging times ahead, we can, and we will, pull through as we have in the past."

    Ireland has Europe's worst budget deficit and the economic measures are prerequisites for a international loans from the International Monetary Fund, European Union and other governments, expected to be worth nearly $115 billion. Cowen said Ireland's crisis means its people should pull together.  

    "It's a time for us to confront this challenge and to do so in a united way. To do so in a way that ensures those who have most will make the most contribution, those who have least will be protected to the greatest extent we possibly can."

    The Irish government did not alter its 12.5 percent corporate tax, designed to attract and keep big companies from going elsewhere to do business.

    In Portugal, unions went on strike Wednesday in protest of a government budget that freezes pensions and cuts government employee wages by five percent. Manuel Carvalho da Silva, head of the CGTP Union (General Confederation of Portuguese Workers), said the strikes are an expression of indignation and protest, because the government policies that are being practiced by employers, are bringing about a society that is increasingly unfair. As a consequence, he said there is a great impoverishment of Portuguese society.

    Here in London and across Britain, thousands of students demonstrated at government offices and universities in protest of a rise in university tuition fees. It's part of the British government's budget cutbacks that also raise taxes and slash government department budgets by about 20 percent.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora