May Day marches around Europe attracted crowds but not the mass demonstrations the economic recession and high unemployment might suggest.
37 percent of Spain’s 20 to 24 year olds are out of work and the country’s struggling with record unemployment but protest marches there were low-key affairs.
Strikes hotbed France also put on a desultory display, and while the overall unemployment there is half of Spain’s, the picture for the young is almost as bleak.
In Italy the San Giovanni square in Rome was, as usual in recent years, filled with a party atmosphere as the trades unions staged their now-traditional free concert. Here protest vied with pop music for the top billing, with music seemingly winning the day.