Anti-austerity pro-jobs protest in Brussels turns violent

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Anti-austerity pro-jobs protest in Brussels turns violent

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An anti-austerity demonstration in Brussels organised by European trade unions turned violent close to the Commission and other EU institutions.

Protesters wearing orange jackets hurled projectiles at riot police who responded with water cannon.

Weeks before the European elections, the protesters are calling for new policies to tackle unemployment and poverty.

Figures published last week showed record numbers of jobless in January, with around 26 million people in the EU looking for work. The highest unemployment rates were in Greece and Spain.

As a euronews team tried to film what was happening, our cameraman was attacked.

“The protest started just next to the euronews office in Brussels. With my cameraman colleague we tried to go to the street to film. But then the protesters turned angry, they pushed the cameraman back into entrance where they hit and kicked him several times,” said euronews correspondent Sandor Zsiros.

Most of those in the street were young Flemish workers, many from Antwerp harbour.

They represented only a minority of demonstrators, the rest of whom protested peacefully a few streets away.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is campaigning for investment to kick-start the economy in EU states, to create sustainable growth and between nine and 11 million jobs over the next decade.

It hopes that enough gains by the left in May’s elections will lead the next European Parliament to back the plan.