Friday, 25 June 2010

Divisions at the top, resistance from below

Al-Jazeera reports the G20 split over a global recovery plan:

'World leaders meeting in Ontario in Canada for G20 discussions are divided over how to tackle the global economic crisis.

European delegates at the summit have said that they want to focus on austerity measures to cut the deficits, while the United States is looking to maintain stimulus spending to encourage growth.

"That's the delicate balance that we need to try to strike this weekend," Jim Flaherty, Canada's finance minister, said.'

Press TV reports Italians protesting against cuts:

'Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Italy to voice anger at Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's austerity measures, which include budget and pay cuts.

The Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), the country's largest trade union has rallied thousands of workers in several cities including Milan and Rome to join a general strike aimed at pressuring the conservative Berlusconi government to reconsider the 25-billion-euro (34-billion-dollar) spending cuts.'

The Guardian reported yesterday's strikes against pension reforms in France:

'French unions staged nationwide strikes today and hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets to protest against plans to raise the retirement age to 62, throwing down the gauntlet to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Bernard Thibault, the head of France's largest union, the CGT, estimated that at least two million protesters joined about 200 rallies across the country, and said this would pile pressure on the government to revise its reform plans.

"This draft bill will not get passed in its current form. The workers have decided to take to the streets in large numbers to prevent the text from getting passed," he said as he headed the main, sun-soaked rally through eastern Paris.

Unions estimated 130,000 people attended the main Paris rally. Police put the turnout at 47,000.'

Greece has a general strike next Tuesday, so the temperature continues to rise...


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