Three days of street protests against the worsening economic crisis and staggering job losses have swept across Europe. Trade unionists and the unemployed have called for governments to act, flexing their respective voter muscles ahead of local and Europe-wide elections.
In Germany, yesterday thousands marched through Berlin demanding more job protection as the country struggles with its deepest recession since World War Two. German trade unionist, Frank Bsirske was firm in his opinion that there was a clear need for worker unity. “We workers across Europe, have the same problems. We demand the right to equal pay for equal work in the same job. We want to avoid situations where, for example, Polish salaries directly compete with German salaries…We want the right to go on strike.” Friday saw 40,000 people march in Brussels complaining at the amount of funds being spent on banks throughout the EU bloc which are widely blamed for the economic meltdown. In Prague and Bucharest, workers demanded higher wages and secure jobs with anger growing particularly in Romania at their government’s anti- crisis response of freezing state pay . While Thursday saw a mock funeral staged in Madrid mourning the loss of jobs – Spain currently has four million people unemployed.