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European Summit: Austerity Battle Rages On …

  • October 22nd, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

eurobook-council.jpgProtests against the impacts of government austerity continued in the background as European leaders on the weekend wrapped up their mid-year summit, declaring  that progress was being made against recession and financial crisis.

The meeting of the 27 European Union heads of government at Brussels, 18-19.10.12, approved an agreement reached with the Greek government on furthering its budget program.

“This is necessary in order to bring about a more competitive private sector, private investment and an effective public sector.

“These conditions will allow Greece to achieve renewed growth and will ensure its future in the euro area”, they said in a communiqué.

In Greece itself, a fresh general strike had once more paralysed transport services, as demonstrators got into confrontations with riot police in Athens.

There had been protests also in Portugal, and tens of thousands of workers took to the streets on the weekend in Britain, against steep reductions in government spending, during the recession there.

The European summit also endorsed immediate action on setting up the proposed Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM)  — a single agency for regulating European banks.

It said that having the system in operation next year was a “matter of urgency”.

In other actions the summit authorised an extension of sanctions against the government in Syria, in response to its policy of violent repression of opposition.

Reference

European Council, Brussels, “European Council – 18-19 October”, 20.10.12. http://www.european-council.europa.eu/council-meetings#t1, (22.10.12).

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