The Candor

Countries in Europe continue to see large demonstrations over austerity cuts to their government’s spending

By Donny Kendal

This latest week saw protests in Spain, Greece, and Portugal.

As reported by the Associated Press, thousands in Portugal marched in 20 cities to protest austerity cuts on Saturday, March 2nd. The cuts are intended to reduce the country’s deficit and allow Portugal to rise out of recession.

The AP reports that Portugal has been in recession for the past two years and that the unemployment rate is north of 17 percent. Also, unemployment of young adults is near 40 percent.

In late February, tens of thousands of people in Spain protested austerity and corruption, according to a Reuters’ article. Students, union members, and doctors protested the proposed cuts to healthcare, education and other services.

Spain’s economy has been reeling ever since a collapse in the housing market. The cuts proposed by the conservative government are designed to shrink the country’s budget deficit and allow more room for growth.

Demonstrations are also continuing in Greece, which has seen many protests over the past few years. Recently, reported by Greek Reporter, roughly 2,000 farmers rallied in Athens over austerity measures, including higher taxes. A recent austerity measure removed a tax exemption enjoyed by farmers.

These measures in Greece were a condition of the bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund that has helped Greece pay its bills.

Countries in Europe are still struggling to get their economies healthy again. The leaders of these countries are attempting to reduce the liabilities of the government while not upsetting the constituents too much.