Thousands of leftists marched through Paris on Sunday demanding a referendum on the EU’s new fiscal discipline treaty in the latest of a series of anti-austerity protests in countries hit by the eurozone crisis.
The demonstration, the biggest political rally in France since May elections brought Socialist president François Hollande to power, followed protests on the streets of Madrid and Lisbon on Saturday.
The communist-backed Left Front and 60 other organisations backing the Paris march said tens of thousands of supporters turned out for the protest, timed to coincide with the opening this week of a parliamentary debate on ratification of the fiscal treaty, which Mr Hollande had originally vowed to renegotiate.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Left Front leader, said austerity policies were “dangerous for all the people of Europe”. Demanding a vote on the treaty, he added: “Democracy is sicker than we thought.”
analysts worry that the recent upsurge in political unrest in Portugal, Spain and Greece – where the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has risen to third in national surveys – could be a sign of more trouble ahead as repeated rounds of austerity bite even further into daily lives.
“The cracks are showing in Spain’s social and economic fabric,” said Nicholas Spiro, a London-based sovereign risk consultant. “The risk is that in seeking to retain as much domestic ownership of the terms attached to any [EU rescue] programme, the government [of prime minister Mariano Rajoy] overdoes it and sparks an even more intense social and political backlash.”
In Portugal, tens of thousands of trade unionists turned out in Lisbon’s central square for a peaceful protest against terms of the country’s €78bn EU-IMF bailout.
Greek unions have also vowed to hold big protests if the government moves forward with a new €13.5bn austerity programme agreed last week by the coalition government.
The recent upheavals in Portugal – where there had been widespread bipartisan support for the bailout since it was launched 16 months ago – has come as a particular shock to eurozone leaders, forcing Lisbon to reverse a rise in social security taxes designed to hit mandated budget targets.
Hollande Reneges on Campaign Promise
Recall that Hollande ran on a platform to rework the Merkozy Treaty.
We now clearly see that was just another campaign lie. However, Hollande has followed through on all of his economically destructive ideas including massive tax hikes, lowering retirement age, and pressuring companies to not lay off workers.
Destructive follow-through of the worst ideas, with no follow-through on the best campaign ideas is typical of presidential elections everywhere.
First Catalonia, Now Basque Separatists Call for Independent Country; El Pais Survey Shows 43% Catalans For Independence, 41% Opposed
EH Bildu has called "a great national political act" in favor of the independence of the Basque Country for the next October 13 in the BEC Barakaldo (Bizkaia), announced its candidate for lehendakari, Laura Mintegi in an appearance before the media at EA headquarters in Bilbao.
Mintegi explained that the purpose of the meeting is to claim a free Basque state in Europe. The nationalist left has led in recent times to BEC, in a space with a capacity for 15,000 people, some of his most important acts to demonstrate their ability to mobilize. force.
The sovereignist coalition vindicate independence there to say "clearly and directly" to those "who do not want to hear, who kidnap our rights in the name of the Constitution imposed on us" you want "a free state in Europe."
Mintegi has defended "the pressing need to build a framework sovereign" in the Basque country that allows this community to have the tools to address their own economic, social and employment. "Only from the sovereignty we orient our policies towards true social justice," said the candidate.
In his view, "it is truly reckless remain at the expense of a corrupt system like Spanish, you're sacrificing the rights and freedoms of all the people to ensure the interests of a political and economic elite." With the "corrupt system" called on "break ties".
El Pais Survey Shows 43% Catalans For Independence, 41% Opposed
About the option of independence for Catalonia, El País published a survey in which, in case of a referendum, 43% would vote for secession, compared with 41% who would decide against.
The complete data interpretation contrasted with other numbers registered in June, when only 21% of respondents said anti-secession and another 21% abstained. The current difference can be understood as a translation of abstention towards not to Catalan independence, which in June this survey enjoyed the favor of 51%.
Various surveys seem to be fluctuating wildly so I am not sure any of the are accurate at the moment. That said, it is clear anger over austerity measures is picking up steam. Protests in numerous countries is proof enough.
At Some Point the Hat Runs out of Rabbits
I am sticking to my long held belief that "Eventually will come a time when a politician will hold up a copy of the EMU treaty, declare it null and void, and the debt null and void right along with it. That politician will be elected."