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Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Wednesday, 14 November 2012

European workers take to the streets

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Workers across the European Union are staging a series of protests and strikes against rising unemployment and austerity measures.

Organisers of the strike are urging national leaders to abandon austerity and address growing social anxiety.

Strikes are expected in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy, with other protests planned in Belgium, Germany, France and some eastern EU states.

Richard Corbett, adviser to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, explained to Today presenter John Humphrys that how European nations address their government's debt and deficits is "largely a matter of national choice".

Bernadette Segol, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation argued that there was a "democratic deficit" in the Eurozone because the so-called "troika" - the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission - are dictating economic policies.

"We need urgent solutions to get the economy back on track, not stifle it with austerity. Europe's leaders are wrong not to listen to the anger of the people who are taking to the streets," she explained.


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