Some 2,000 police have demonstrated in the Irish Republic against plans to make them pay a levy on their pensions. The Irish economy – not so long ago known as Europe’s “green tiger” – has been hit hard by the financial crisis. The Dublin government is now fighting a ballooning budget deficit. But police officers say they are not the ones that should be paying.
“It is very unfair,” said one demonstrator. “If the government had had the same willingness to take on the bankers as they should have done months ago, or possibly even send the guards into the banks months ago, we might have a better country.” Another added: “I am here on the march today because this is seriously going to affect my pay packet. I am travelling 100 miles a day to and from work and I cannot take the hit.” The rally Dublin was just the latest in what is becoming almost a daily event around Europe – as ordinary workers express their frustration at their governments’ efforts to get the financial crisis under control – and their economies back on track.