Another day, another protest in the eurozone as 80,000 public sector workers down tools in Slovenia in protest against stinging wage cuts.
The strike closed schools and other public institutions as tens of thousands rallied against government plans to slash the budget deficit from 6.4 per cent to 3.5 per cent.
Public sector pay and benefits will bear the brunt of the cuts.
One demonstrator said he had taken to the streets for the sake of future generations:
“I am here to fight for my grandchildren. I worry whether our children will be able to preserve their jobs. This is my last day at work. My retirement begins tomorrow. I am using my holiday to be here I have to support this.”
Prime Minister Janez Jansa said the country’s economy was “on the edge” and major changes to his government’s austerity measures were not possible.
“The strike didn’t solve a single problem. There isn’t any more money in the budget because of it. There will be less because those who worked will have to pay for the damage caused by the action,” he said.
The country’s export reliant economy was hit hard by the global economic crisis in 2009 and re-entered recession in 2011 with predictions that 2012 will see Slovenia plunged further into the mire.