Europe’s day of anti-austerity strikes and protests turn violent – as it happened

15 Nov

Hundreds of thousands of Europeans have mounted one of the biggest coordinated anti-austerity protests across the continent on Wednesday, marching against German-orchestrated cuts as the eurozone is poised to move back into recession.

Millions took part in Europe-wide strikes, and in city after city along the continent’s debt-encrusted Mediterranean rim, thousands marched and scores were arrested after clashes with police.

There were banners declaring “Austerity kills,” Occupy masks, flares, improvised loudspeakers and cancelled flights. But there was also a violent, even desperate edge to the demonstrations, particularly in Madrid and several Italian cities. In the Spanish capital, police fired rubber bullets to subdue the crowd; in Pisa, protesters occupied the Leaning Tower, and in Sicily cars were burned.

“There is a social emergency in the south,” said Bernadette Ségol, the secretary general of the European Trade Union Confederation. “All recognise that the policies carried out now are unfair and not working.”

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