NPD rally against austerity cuts in Berlin
Thousands rally against European austerity in May Day protests - 1st May 2013
(Reuters) - Trains and ferries were canceled and hospital staff walked off the job in Greece on Wednesday and thousands were due to demonstrate across Spain as May Day triggered protests against harsh government spending cuts.
Separately, Turkish riot police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds gathering in central Istanbul for a rally on what has become a traditional labor holiday.
In Spain, where the unemployment rate stands at a record 27 percent, the two largest trade unions, CCOO and UGT, called on workers and the unemployed to join over 80 demonstrations across the country.
In a column in financial newspaper El Economista, CCOO Secretary General Igancio Fernandez Toxo criticized the government's "huge irresponsibility" in allowing unemployment to rise to such levels.
Candido Mendez, head of UGT, said having more than 6 million people unemployed meant there had "never been a May 1 with more reason to take to the streets".
In Athens, about 1,000 policemen were deployed to handle any violence during rallies and strikes called by public and private sector unions.
It is the latest in a long line of strikes and protests in the debt-laden country ravaged by its sixth year of recession and popular fury over wage and spending cuts.
"Our message today is very clear: Enough with these policies which hurt people and make the poor poorer," Ilias Iliopoulos, general secretary of union ADEDY, told Reuters.
"The government must take back the austerity measures, people can't take it anymore."
Participation, however, was expected to be well below the levels of major protests last year when as many as 100,000 Greeks marched to the central Syntagma square chanting slogans.
Unions themselves expected turnout to be low in Greece with the traditional May 1 holiday falling just a few days before Greek Orthodox Easter, which meant public schools were shut and many workers had already left for vacation.
Public transport in Athens was disrupted with buses and subways halted, while ships and ferries stayed docked at ports after seamen also walked off the job. Bank and workers also joined the one-day strike.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has sought to maintain a hard line against striking workers in a bid to show European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders - as well as the public - that he is determined to push through unpopular reforms.
And also here;
NWN: And where is the UK nationalist response to these bankers imposed austerity cuts ?
Far too many of our 'idiots' are still 'banging on' about the muslims, and only about the muslims.