Mass Strikes Sweep Europe
700 flights grounded, minor scuffles break out in Spain
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 14, 2012 7:42 AM CST
A protester shouts slogans during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

(Newser) – Anti-austerity protests in Europe have usually been relatively localized affairs, confined to one country or another—until now. Labor leaders in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece all called for strikes and demonstrations today, the New York Times reports, and people in France, Belgium, and elsewhere took to the streets as well in solidarity. About 700 flights in and out of Spain were canceled thanks to the strike. Spanish police arrested 32 and reported 15 injuries, but said there had been no major disturbances.

Many shops remained open, however, and power consumption figures indicate that the strike isn't putting much of a dent in Spanish industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. Italy held a civil servants strike, though that one specifically excluded airlines, while Greece held a three-hour general strike. Belgian rail workers went on strike as well, and there were 130 demonstrations planned across France. While the European Central Bank has been upbeat about the crisis recently, the German Central Bank today said that "the risks to the German financial system are no lower in 2012 than they were in 2011," the Times reports.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Nov 14, 2012 7:46 PM CST
What kind of news coverage is this? It would be nice if newser told us what their demands are. Newser sucks and I'm not happy with Juno for switching.
Nov 14, 2012 4:22 PM CST
People stomping up and down demanding benefits that no longer exist... good job America, these are the people we want to emulate.
Nov 14, 2012 2:58 PM CST
Poor babies. They have been suckling at the Socialist teet for decades and now that they have to face the reality that Socialism sucks the life out of economies, and people, they whine, strike and generally throw temper tantrums. This childish nonsense will continue until the population wakes up and does what needs to be done to save their countries, not just their own sorry asses. Of course, since a vast majority of the European population has not experienced anything except Social / Liberalism their whole lives, they will probably strike and protest until everything collapses around them.