A war on austerity is being waged on three fronts today:
Italians on Reuters today:
ROME (Reuters) – Thousands of Italians marched in Rome on Saturday to protest against the government’s austerity measures that include cutting funding to local authorities and freezing the salaries of public sector workers.
The “It’s all on our shoulders” protest by Italy’s largest union comes ahead of its one-day strike on June 25 against the 25-billion-euro austerity plan approved by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government to stave off a Greek-style debt crisis.
Read more here.
Germans on Reuters as well:
BERLIN (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Germans protested on Saturday against Germany’s biggest austerity drive since World War Two, adding to pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s increasingly unpopular coalition.
Merkel’s cabinet on Monday unveiled plans for 80 billion euros ($96.30 billion) in budget cuts and taxes over the next four years, but faces a challenge convincing parliament, unions and voters to accept the savings package.
Organisers said between 15,000 and 20,000 people demonstrated in Berlin, in one of the biggest protests against government reform in recent years. Police estimated that up to 10,000 people took part in protests in Stuttgart.
See that here.
And Paul Krugman on Time:
At a time when most people are saying the path out of the financial crisis and European debt problem is for individuals and governments around the world to cut back, Paul Krugman wants us to spend, spend, spend.
So how much we spend on supporting the economy in 2010 and 2011 is almost irrelevant to the fundamental budget picture. Why, then, are Very Serious People demanding immediate fiscal austerity?
The answer is, to reassure the markets — because the markets supposedly won’t believe in the willingness of governments to engage in long-run fiscal reform unless they inflict pointless pain right now. To repeat: the whole argument rests on the presumption that markets will turn on us unless we demonstrate a willingness to suffer, even though that suffering serves no purpose.
Read more here.
“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”