BP Holdings Madrid Economy News Update

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bp holdings madrid economy news update
(Reuters) - Workers hit by lower living standards and record high unemployment staged May Day protests across Europe on Wednesday, hoping to persuade their governments of the case for easing austerity measures and boosting growth.
In the debt-laden euro zone countries of Spain, Greece, Italy and France tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand jobs and an end to years of belt-tightening.
In Spain, where the economy has shrunk for seven consecutive quarters and unemployment stands at a record 27 percent, thousands of people snaked up Madrid's Gran Via central shopping street carrying placards reading "austerity ruins and kills".
"The future of Spain looks terrible; we're going backwards with this government," said former civil servant Alicia Candelas, 54, who has been without a job for two years.
Unions said 50,000 people marched in Madrid and more than 1 million took part in peaceful rallies across the country. There was no independent estimate, and police did not give a figure.
Trains and ferries were cancelled in Greece, and bank and hospital staff walked off the job after unions there called a 24-hour strike, the latest in a string of protests in a country in its sixth year of recession.
About 1,000 police officers were deployed in Athens, but the demonstration passed off peacefully, with about 5,000 striking workers, pensioners and students marching to parliament holding banners reading: "We won't become slaves, take to the streets!".
Earlier, hundreds of protesters affiliated with the Communist KKE party made a clenched-fist salute on Syntagma Square, scene of clashes between police and protesters during previous protests.
"The economy won't be resurrected by the bankrupt banks and the corrupt political system but by the workers and their fight," Alexis Tsipras, leader of the anti-bailout Syriza party, told protesters.
Harsh measures to cut Greece's budget deficit are a condition of its international bailout, imposed on Athens to save it from a chaotic bankruptcy and euro exit.
But there were fewer protesters on the streets than last year when 100,000 marched on Syntagma Square. The May 1 holiday falls just before Greek Orthodox Easter, so public schools were shut and many workers had left for holidays.


SOURCE:
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/02/uk-europe-protests-idUKBRE94009G20130502
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BP Holdings Madrid Economy News Update

  1. 1. Thousands rally againstausterity on May Dayhttp://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/02/uk-europe-protests-idUKBRE94009G20130502Bp Holdings Madrid EconomyNews Update
  2. 2. (Reuters) - Workers hit by lower living standards and record highunemployment staged May Day protests across Europe on Wednesday,hoping to persuade their governments of the case for easing austeritymeasures and boosting growth.In the debt-laden euro zone countries of Spain, Greece, Italy andFrance tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand jobsand an end to years of belt-tightening.In Spain, where the economy has shrunk for seven consecutive quartersand unemployment stands at a record 27 percent, thousands of peoplesnaked up Madrids Gran Via central shopping street carrying placardsreading "austerity ruins and kills".
  3. 3. "The future of Spain looks terrible; were going backwards with thisgovernment," said former civil servant Alicia Candelas, 54, who hasbeen without a job for two years.Unions said 50,000 people marched in Madrid and more than 1 milliontook part in peaceful rallies across the country. There was noindependent estimate, and police did not give a figure.Trains and ferries were cancelled in Greece, and bank and hospital staffwalked off the job after unions there called a 24-hour strike, the latestin a string of protests in a country in its sixth year of recession.
  4. 4. About 1,000 police officers were deployed in Athens, but thedemonstration passed off peacefully, with about 5,000 striking workers,pensioners and students marching to parliament holding bannersreading: "We wont become slaves, take to the streets!".Earlier, hundreds of protesters affiliated with the Communist KKEparty made a clenched-fist salute on Syntagma Square, scene of clashesbetween police and protesters during previous protests."The economy wont be resurrected by the bankrupt banks and thecorrupt political system but by the workers and their fight," AlexisTsipras, leader of the anti-bailout Syriza party, told protesters.
  5. 5. Harsh measures to cut Greeces budget deficit are a condition of itsinternational bailout, imposed on Athens to save it from a chaoticbankruptcy and euro exit.But there were fewer protesters on the streets than last year when100,000 marched on Syntagma Square. The May 1 holiday falls justbefore Greek Orthodox Easter, so public schools were shut and manyworkers had left for holidays.
  6. 6. AUSTERITY VS GROWTHFour euro zone countries - Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus - havereceived sovereign bailouts. With little or no sign of growth in the currencybloc, the European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates to a recordlow of 0.5 percent at its meeting on Thursday.But analysts say that alone will do little to lift the zone out of recession, andseveral governments are now openly discussing policies to try to boost growth.Italys new Prime Minister Enrico Letta told Germany on Tuesday that hisgovernment would meet its budget commitments but expected Europe to dropits austerity mantra and do more to lift growth.German Chancellor Angela Merkel, seen by many in southern Europe as thechampion of the belt-tightening approach, struck a conciliatory tone, saying"budget consolidation and growth need not be contradictory".
  7. 7. Letta met French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday,expecting a more favourable hearing for his focus on growth.Frances two biggest unions, split over Hollandes labour law reforms,held separate May 1 marches. Hollandes approval rating has droppedas low as 25 percent as cuts bite and unemployment has risen.German unions said about 425,000 people took part in more than 400events around the country.Michael Sommer, head of the DGB federation of German labourunions, said the German government should have more solidarity withthe rest of the euro zone.
  8. 8. "We cannot allow this continent to be kaputtgespart - forced to save somuch that it breaks apart," he said.Tens of thousands marched in Italys major cities to demand action totackle unemployment - at 11.5 percent overall and 40 percent amongthe young. Demonstrators in Turin threw hollowed eggs filled withblack paint at police.Pope Francis made a May Day appeal for governments to tackleunemployment, as "work is fundamental to the dignity of a person".
  9. 9. "I think of how many, and not just young people, are unemployed,many times due to a purely economic conception of society, whichseeks selfish profit, beyond the parameters of social justice," he told acrowd in St. Peters Square.Thousands of people marched in Lisbon calling for an end to austeritydictated by Portugals EU/IMF bailout, a day after the government saidthere would be more spending cuts.Traditional May Day marches were also taking place outside the eurozone. In Russia, about 1.5 million people were expected to take part inparades, a fraction of the millions that used to march in Soviet times.
  10. 10. In Istanbul, Turkish riot police fired water cannon and tear gas todisperse crowds gathering for a rally. A Reuters photographer said atleast six people were injured.Turkish authorities often use force to prevent the rally in the city centre,having this year denied trade unions permission to march on TaksimSquare, saying construction work there would make it too dangerous.(Additional reporting by Renee Maltezou and Deepa Babington inAthens, Lidia Kelly in Moscow and Murad Sezer in Istanbul, and PhilipPullella in Rome; Writing by Janet Lawrence; Editing by WillWaterman)

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