Massive Austerity causes Wave of Protests in Europe

Is this the beginning of a mass wake up against the tyranny and irresponsibility of the bankers and elites of the planet?

AP

Anti-austerity protests erupted across Europe on Wednesday – Greek doctors and railway employees walked out, Spanish workers shut down trains and buses, and one man even blocked the Irish parliament with a cement truck to decry the country’s enormous bank bailouts.

Brussels International Airport stop to a halt on September 26. (AP)

Tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into Brussels, hoping to swell into a 100,000-strong march on European Union institutions later in the day and reinforce the impact of Spain’s first nationwide strike in eight years.

All the actions sought to protest the budget-slashing, tax-hiking, pension-cutting austerity plans of European governments seeking to control their debt.

In an ironic twist, the march in Brussels comes just as the EU Commission is proposing to punish member states that have run up deficits to fund social programs in a time of high unemployment across the continent. The proposal, backed by Germany, is expected to run into strong opposition from France.

“It is a bizarre time for the European Commission to be proposing a regime of punishment,” said John Monks, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, which is organizing the Brussels march.

“How is that going to make the situation better? It is going to make it worse,” Monks said in an interview with Associated Press Television News.

Unions fear that workers will become the biggest victims of an economic crisis set off by bankers and traders, many of whom were rescued by massive government intervention.

Several governments, already living dangerously with high debt, were pushed to the brink of financial collapse and have been forced to impose punishing cuts in wages, pensions and employment – measures that have brought workers out by the tens of thousands over the past months.

Transportation has been affected in Spain, where workers decided to protest against cuts. (AP)

“There is a great danger that the workers are going to be paying the price for the reckless speculation that took place in financial markets,” Monks said. “You really got to reschedule these debts so that they are not a huge burden on the next few years and cause Europe to plunge down into recession.”

In Spain, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist government is under severe pressure because of the hugely unpopular measures put in place to save Europe’s fourth-largest economy from a bailout like one that saved Greece from bankruptcy.

The cuts have helped Spain trim its central government deficit by half through July but the unemployment rate stands at 20 percent, and many businesses are struggling to survive.

The strike Wednesday was Spain’s first general strike since 2002 and marked a break in the once-close relationship between unions and the Socialist government.

Whistle-blowing picketers blocked trucks from delivering produce at the main wholesale markets in Madrid and Barcelona. Strikers hurled eggs and screamed “scabs” at drivers trying to leave a city bus garage in Madrid.

The salary cuts for civil servants, pension reforms and new laws that make it easier for companies to fire workers were rushed into law quickly in Spain, without traditional negotiations between management and workers.

Greece, which had to be rescued by the euro-nations this spring to stave off bankruptcy, has also been forced to cut deep into workers’ allowances, with weeks of bitter strikes and actions as a result.

Bus and trolley drivers walked off the job for several hours while Athens’ metro system and tram were to shut down at noon. National railway workers were also walking off the job at noon, disrupting rail connections across the country, while doctors at state hospitals were on a 24-hour strike.

Greece has already been suffering from two weeks of protests by truck drivers who have made it difficult for businesses to get supplies. Many supermarkets are seeing shortages, while producers complaining they are unable to export their goods.

Truck drivers’ unions voted late Tuesday to continue their protests against plans to liberalize their tightly regulated profession, despite a government threat to force them back to work or cancel their licenses.

Greece’s government has imposed stringent austerity measures, including cutting civil servants’ salaries, trimming pensions and hiking consumer and income taxes. Several other EU nations are also planning actions.

In Dublin, a man blocked the gates of the Irish parliament with a cement truck to protest the country’s expensive bank bailout. Written across the truck’s barrel in red letters were the words: “Toxic Bank” Anglo and “All politicians should be sacked.”

Police arrested a 41-year-old man but gave few other details.

The Anglo Irish Bank, which was nationalized last year to save it from collapse, owes some euro72 billion ($97 billion) to depositors worldwide, leaving Irish taxpayers with a mammoth bill at a time when people are suffering through high unemployment, tax hikes and heavy budget cuts.

Many experts say, no matter what unions try, the towering government debt across the continent will force drastic changes in Europe’s labor situation.

“The party is over,” said former EU Commissioner Frits Bolkestein at the financial Eurofi conference in Brussels. “We shall all have to work longer and harder, more hours in the week, more weeks in the year, and no state pension before the age of 67.”

The unions say, however, the party was only there for society’s upper crust, and workers are being forced to pay the bills. The crisis has left 23 million people unemployed in Europe, Monks said.

Bilderberg 2010 Agenda Leaked

Corbett Report

Veteran Bilderberg researcher and bestselling author Daniel Estulin has once again acquired a copy of the agenda for the annual meeting of the world’s power elite. In an exclusive interview with The Corbett Report earlier today, Estulin revealed what the Bilderbergers will be discussing at this year’s confab in Sitges, Spain on June 3-6, 2010.

According to the documents—which Estulin obtained from his sources inside the secretive group—issues to be discussed in this year’s formal deliberations are:

1. Will the Euro Survive?
2. Development in Europe: Europe’s Exit Strategy…On Hold?
3. Do We Have Institutions to Deal With the World Economy?
4. Greece: Lessons and Forward-looking Strategies
5. NATO and Afghanistan: The Practical Agenda for the Alliance
6. Iran and Russia: Economic and Financial Threats to the Alliance
7. The Consequences of War Against Terrorism
8. The Influence of Domestic Issues on American Foreign Policy
9.The Outlook for Japan’s Economy
10. The Future of the U.S. Dollar: Alternative Scenarios

That the Bilderbergers—essentially a talking shop for European and North American power players—are interested in discussing the current meltdown of the European economy should come as no surprise, especially as the group’s attendee list includes many of the key financiers and string pullers who helped steer Europe into the crisis in the first place. Past attendees of the meeting include current EU President Herman Van Rompuy who got the job as the first non-elected head of the undemocratic European Union after a special wine and dine session with Bilderberg steering committee members. Last year he heralded the beginning of global government, praising the increased role of G20 in dealing with the global financial crisis. Other key Bilderbergers include Jean-Claude Trichet, who, as head of the European Central Bank, was instrumental in helping to craft the current European bailout which itself is designed to incentivize the bankruptcy of Europe. Trichet, too, also recentlycalled for global government to regulate the world economic meltdown that his fellow Bilderbergers helped to create.

Those familiar with the Bilderberg group’s long-cherished dream of achieving global government through the creation of an international financial framework will be unsurprised to see that a debate on the question “Do We Have Institutions to Deal With the World Economy?” is the third order of business at this year’s meeting. Nor will it be a surprise when the question is inevitably answered with the standard globalist line that international institutions like the IMF and the World Bank need to be “strengthened” and even given enhanced regulatory powers as a result of the crisis they have brought about, exactly as Bilderberg observers have been predicting for years. Indeed, as Estulin himself notes in his latest book, Shadow Masters, former U.S. Undersecretary of State George Ball expressed the ambition of the globalists in an address to the 1968 Bilderberg meeting in Mont Tremblant when he stated that they were interested in developing a “world company” to take over the “archaic political structure of nation states”

Other items on the agenda are exactly in line with the issues and plans made at last year’s Bilderberg and those ideas debated at last year’s G20 Finance Ministers meeting, both of which Estulin was able to infiltrate with his inside sources. The fact that the Iran-Russia alliance is on this year’s agenda is doubly telling, not only because a strike against Iran was on the table at this year’s Trilateral Commission meeting, but because, as Estulin notes in today’s interview, it indicates that the real object of the Bilderbergers’ aggression against Iran is the destabilization of Russia, a country that has traditionally been a thorn in the side of the globalists.

Perhaps the only thing that is surprising about this year’s leaked agenda is that the secretive group, which has gone to great length to conceal itself from media and public scrutiny, has failed to take precautions to prevent Estulin and his sources from acquiring the information yet again. “I’m a little bit disappointed in the Bilderbergers,” he said on the line from Spain, where he currently resides. “I would think they would have taken certain precautions and measures, especially coming to my part of the world.”

While the agenda is only a guide for the larger group discussions and the real decision-making takes place among the core members of the group behind closed doors, it does serve as an indicator of the issues and events that are preoccupying the globalists at this sensitive stage of their operation, just as they begin to realize their dream of instituting global government by manufacturing a global depression. Even as these plans begin to come to fruition, the people of Iceland, Greece, and other developed countries are beginning to rise up en masse to throw off the yoke of financial oppression and key Bilderbergers are openly talking of their fears of a global political awakening.

This year’s conference marks a new level of exposure and opposition to the Bilderberg group itself. Daniel Estulin will be making an historic speech to the European parliament on June 1st along with Mario Borghezio, Nigel Farage, and other key MEPs. Then Charlie Skelton, reporting once again for the UK’s Guardian newspaper, will be taking part in a mass counter-conference where those opposed to the Bilderbergers and their secret proceedings will gather to draw attention to the group.

Europeans are fed up with the elites and get to the streets

Spain’s parliament has passed a €15bn (£12.7bn) austerity package by just one vote, leaving the Socialist government nakedly exposed to popular fury.

Telegraph

Its glaring lack of political solidarity is the latest sign of rising resistance to deflation policies across the eurozone.

Prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero had to rely on the abstention of Catalan nationalists to push through public sector wage cuts of 5 percent this year and a freeze in 2011.

The 1930s-style pay squeeze was effectively imposed upon Spain by Brussels as a quid pro quo for the EU’s €750bn “shield” for euro zone debtors. It is a bitter climb-down for a workers party that vowed to resist salary cuts. Public sector unions have called a strike on June 8 to protest an act of “ultimate aggression” against the people.

The conservatives voted against the measures, prompting a fiery rebuke from finance minister Elena Salgado. “Unpatriotic, irresponsible, and hardly very European: one day they will pay for this,” she said.

The measures include cancellation of the €2,500 “baby cheque” and lower pension benefits. Mr Zapatero hopes to cut the deficit by an extra 1.6pc over GDP over two years, though unemployment is already 20 percent. The deficit will fall from 11.2pc in 2009 to 6pc this year.

Raj Badiani from IHS Global Insight said cuts may not be enough. The government is relying on growth projections that are “far too optimistic” to do the heavy lifting of the deficit reduction.

In Italy, the main CGIL trade union is launching two sets of strike in June to protest “unjust and unsustainable” cuts announced on Tuesday night, claiming that axe falls squarely on ordinary workers. “Those who earn over €500,000 won’t have to put up a single cent,” it said.

Premier Silvio Berlusconi said the sovereign bond scare sweeping the euro zone had forced Italy to build up a security buffer. “This crisis has been provoked by speculation and is like no other. These sacrifices are necessary to save the euro,” he said.

The €24bn austerity package (1.6pc of GDP) over two years aims to cut the bloated bureaucracy, chiefly by reducing grants to regional governments.

“Italy’s spending is out of control: this irresponsible system worked as long as we could devalue the currency,” said Mr Berlusconi. “