Europe’s anti-austerity movement was flexing its muscles again on Saturday as tens of thousands joined street protests in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and elsewhere to voice their opposition and anger at the ongoing and worsening economic crisis on the continent.
Released this week, official statistics showed the EU has broken unemployment records, with the continent’s unemployment rate at over 12 prercent and nearly 1 out of every 4 youth jobless. Such statistics, say demonstrators, shows the ineffectiveness of the dominant economy policies over the last several years.
In Frankfurt, Germany a second straight day of protest was targeted at the European Central Bank, one of the three institutions in Europe known collectively as “the Troika” which also includes the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund. Under their authority, the struggling national economies of Europe have been forced to slash public budgets, cut services, reduce pensions and benefit plans, and privatize public entities like hospitals, energy companies, and transportation
On Friday, protesters under the banner of “Blockupy Frankfurt‘ shut down the ECB from “business as usual” by surrounding the institution’s headquarters and blockading the entrances. Following that, the group said many more thousands had joined for Saturday’s march, with more than 20,000 reportedly attending.