Tags: Euro | Strikes | Riots | Italy | Spain

UK Guardian: Next Phase in Fight Over Euro: Strikes, Riots in Italy, Spain

By    |   Monday, 05 Dec 2011 01:22 PM

The next phase for the eurozone – other than endless talk – may be strikes and riots.

Italian and Spanish workers may soon be voting with the feet to show the displeasure. Severe cuts in public spending have hit economies of southern European countries hard. Unemployment is up, and manufacturing is down in Spain and Italy.

In Spain, where the youth unemployment rate is 40 percent, manufacturers cut input buying at the the sharpest pace in almost two-and-a-half years in November, according to the U.K.'s Guardian.
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GDP growth is also slowing in northern countries. S&P predicts GDP adjusted for inflation will fall from 0.8 percent in France and from 1 percent to 0.9 percent in Germany, the Guardian reports.

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(Getty Images photo)
An S&P economist says there is a 60 percent of recession across Europe, predict S&P economists.

Resistance from workers and businesses will undermine plans forced on them from the top, the Guardian predicts.

German leaders say southern European workers should be more German by accepting wage freezes and more flexible work agreements. But the workers aren't buying that, writes Phillip Inman for the Guardian.

Germany froze labor cuts and cut welfare benefits when times were good and its exports were rising. Debts in southern Europe are too high and the economy is too poor for peripheral eurozone countries to repeat that feat.

"We know that big cuts are coming. People are worried for their houses, for their children. But we don’t even understand why Italy has this problem," said an Italian landlord, Carlotta Mideli, in an article published by The Vancouver Sun.

"Many people are afraid right now," she said. "The unions won’t accept this. There will be strikes, manifestations, disorder. It is possible that there will be violence."

Italians are also upset about paying more taxes.

"It will be a disaster for me if I have to pay anything more," she was quoted as saying, saying she already pays 47 percent of her profit in taxes.

Portugal and Greece have already seen extensive strikes. A crowd of about 17,000 demonstrated in Athens on Thursday during the seventh strike organized by civil servant unions, according to The New York Times.

In October, about 50,000 demonstrated. Unions say wage cuts, tax increases, and layoffs have pushed Greeks to their limits.

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The next phase for the eurozone other than endless talk may be strikes and riots. Italian and Spanish workers may soon be voting with the feet to show the displeasure. Severe cuts in public spending have hit economies of southern European countries hard. Unemployment...
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Monday, 05 Dec 2011 01:22 PM
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