Workers protest to get EU leaders to end austerity

March 14, 2013 • Business

Union members light a fire during a demonstration outside of an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, March 14, 2013. Thousands of workers are converging on EU headquarters to demand an end to austerity measures in a demonstration coinciding with an EU summit aimed at boosting growth and reducing unemployment. Thursday’s protest showed frustration of the European trade union movement claiming years of austerity imposed by EU leaders is only worsening the recession while driving ever more people toward unemployment and poverty. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Some 10,000 workers from across the European Union protested outside a summit of EU leaders Thursday, demanding they end years of austerity and focus instead on curbing runaway unemployment with more spending.

The protest in frost and snow just outside EU headquarters vented frustration over spending cuts and tax hikes imposed by the bloc’s governments to deal with the debt crisis. Trade unions and an increasing number of economists say austerity has inflicted severe economic pain — the economy of 17 EU countries that use the euro are stuck in recession and joblessness is at a record high.

Inside the summit, leaders made it clear that they realized that public anger was reaching dangerous levels, but they Login to read more

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