Anti-austerity rallies have been held across Europe – in Spain thousands marched to protest against high unemployment and their government’s handling of the economic crisis.
It was the first major demonstration since the end of the so-called ‘Indignant’ (Indignados) campaign in which Madrid’s central square was occupied by activists for several weeks.
One protester said “we came to this demo to support people who want things to change. Society is paying for this crisis and that’s what we want to change.”
In France there were calls for people to stand up and be counted as around 500 marched in the capital. Pension reforms and public sector cuts have angered many. That anger apparently spilled over on to the streets with police reportedly detaining over 100 demonstrators.
A French protester summed up his feelings, saying:
“We are the indignant. You saw what has happened in the Arab world, you can see what’s happening in Spain, Iceland, Greece and even what’s happening in England. Things aren’t going well and we’re fed up. And we don’t have the impression the unions have the solution.”
Meanwhile in Berlin, protesters came out in solidarity with their Greek and Spanish neighbours.
They used puppets depicting government officials and called for no further social cuts to be made.