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Scrutiny
  
European “Dissenting” Union
EU needs to come out with customized solutions for member states
28/10/2010

Such mass protests that cut across nations are unprecedented since WW II. But then, in a unified Europe, the recent turn of events shouldn’t be so surprising. The resistance against Europe’s recent austerity drive heightened to the extent that protesters hit the streets across the continent. Among all EU nations, Spain saw the most widespread protests while Brussels saw around 100,000 people going on the streets. Angered by the government’s draconian budget cuts and labour-market overhaul, protestors across the Union disrupted day to day activities. The protest is actually against the governments’ decision to bring deficits under control by cutting public spending. This measure is the last ditch resort by the EU as most investors are denying requests for lending to member nations.

The European Central Bank and Germany are the prime supporters of such measures. Such steps by the EU government seems to have originated from the situation they found themselves in post the recent Greece crisis and the issues the nation faced with maturing debt. But such measures are deteriorating workforce confidence as working class are of the view that they are being penalised for no fault of theirs. In Greece, the protest is chiefly from officials who enjoy special tax free allowances and hefty pensions – not surprisingly, this class is also famous for notable corruption; while in Spain, the public sector trade unions are the main protesters as they would suffer a pay cut and a rise in the legal retirement age. Likewise in Belgium, normal and conventional shop workers are on strike as the government plans to lay-off nearly 2,000 people from stores and depots.

All in all, the protests do seem to hold credibility to a large extent. Unfortunately, there’s not much that EU can and should do; apart from ensuring the public knows the inevitability of such cuts. EU, after its earlier exigencies, owes it to the world to not change track.

By:- Sray Agarwal
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