Anti-Austerity Strike Sweeps Europe
Hundreds of thousands of people across Europe went on strike on November 14 as they demanded that governments stop cutting benefits and create more jobs.
Workers with and without jobs spoke of a“social emergency”damaging the world’s largest economic bloc (集团), a union of 27 nations and half a billion people.
The breadth of the protests, which affected scores of cities in more than 20 countries, reflected widespread unhappiness with high unemployment, slowing growth and worsening economic prospects in Europe. It also showed the resistance that European governments face as they push plans for more austerity measures, designed to bring government spending into line with revenues. Union leaders called the synchronized(同步的) actions“historic”.
The protests were met with tear gas in Italy and Spain as they turned into violent clashes between the police and groups of protesters. These two countries are among the hardest hit by the austerity measures. Spain’s heavy industry and large parts of its transportation network were stalled (延误) by the general strike, while confrontation between students and police officers lasted for hours in Rome. Wealthier nations like Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark saw smaller, peaceful demonstrations.
Governments officials generally played down the actions and said their countries had no option but to cut spending and reduce their deficits (赤字).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said governments must “do what is necessary”: break open labor markets, give more people a chance to work, and become more flexible in many areas. “We will of course make this clear, again and again, in talks with the unions,” she said.
Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos spoke of “a long crisis that has meant sacrifice and uncertainty,” but said: “The government is convinced that the path we have taken is the only possible way out.”
To combat a three-year financial crisis, governments across Europe have had to raise taxes and cut spending, pensions (养老金) and benefits (救济金). As well as hitting workers’ incomes and living standards, these measures have also led to a decline in economic output and a sharp increase in unempl。oyment. Unemployment across those countries has reached a record 11.6 percent, with Spain and Greece seeing levels above 25 percent.
in order to combat a three-year financial crisis, governments across Europe have many measures which lead to following effects, EXCEPT
A raising taxes and cutting spending, pensions and benefits
B hitting workers’ incomes and living standards
C a decline in economic output and
D a sharp increase in unemployment