Anti-austerity was a theme that has been running through traditional rallies across Europe, Euronews informs.
Greek workers have joined May Day rallies in Athens on Tuesday, to vent their anger over painful austerity measures. The capital has come to a standstill. Buses and trains are not running and public sector offices have been shut down. Those protesting want debt-ridden Greece to reject the terms of international bailout loans, saying they are fed up with wage and pension cuts. “The message of this year’s May Day is the continuation and escalation of the struggle against the austerity policies, the policies that will destroy the unions and society’s rights,” said Ilias Vrettakos from the ADEDY union.The May Day rallies are a last chance for protesters to show their opposition before the upcoming Greek elections, now less than a week away.In Madrid, labour activists voiced their opposition to reforms and jobs cuts in health and education. The Spanish government is aiming to slash public spending by ten billion euros a year.Elsewhere, Istanbul’s Taksim Square has been the focus for Turkish May Day events. An Islamist group called ‘Anti-Capitalist Muslim Youth’ joined in for the first time. Hundreds of thousands of workers filled the streets of Havana. Cuban President Raul Castro, who looked on, has launched a series of economic reforms. He has said his goal is not to replace communism, but to take steps to strengthen it for the future. In Asia, workers marched through the streets of Seoul, to demand better employment conditions.