Protests... some violent... have been raging for a full week now across Europe in response to new austerity measures being imposed on a half dozen nations in the Eurozone.
(I joined two news clips, one a short mention of the protests in Athens the day after the election, joined by Wednesday's more extensive report on a massive protest in Madrid, Spain yesterday.)
A week ago Tuesday, labor unions in Greece paralysed the nation following a 48-hour strike protesting new austerity measures imposed upon them by the Troika (the IMF, the EC and the European Central Bank).
By Wednesday (a week later), the protests had spread across Europe into Italy, Portugal and Madrid, Spain where "hundreds of thousands" took to the streets protesting further budget cuts and tax increases that have already created rampant unemployment, crippling the economies of six European nations.
"Austerity" is destroying the European economy (and bringing down world markets with it), but wealthier nations like Germany & the UK (which grew their way out of the Recession by investing in green technology and infrastructure [pdf]), which are loaning these countries money through the IMF (International Monetary Fund), are more concerned with being paid back than aiding the economic recovery of those nations, and like the GOP in this country, they are wedded to the idea that "budget cuts" and "reduced spending" are the path to prosperity despite all evidence to the contrary. As the video notes, unemployment continues to rise in Spain, now approaching a stomach-churning 26%, while Portugal's "debt" is now 107% of the nations' GDP. Greece has seen its economy contract by 23% in just the past five years. Not exactly a recipe for growth that would make any lender comfortable with ever being paid back.
You may have noticed that the Stock Market took a nasty dive (313 points) the day after President Obama's reelection on November 6th and has been tumbling ever since. So naturally, some Republicans were quick to blame President Obama's reelection and the looming "fiscal cliff" for the sudden plunge on Wall Street. It's nonsense of course, but it makes the Right feel better to think Wall Street is terrified of a second Obama term.
Because if there's one thing Wall Street hates, it's "uncertainty"... and who knows what this "Obama" guy will be like as President? Am I right?