Thousands of European Workers Protest against Austerity

November 14, 2012, Wednesday // 03:57
Bulgaria: Thousands of European Workers Protest against Austerity
A protester clashes with a riot policeman during a demonstration at Cibeles square during a general strike in Madrid on November 14, 2012. Photo by Getty Images

Tens of thousands of workers have taken to the streets of Europe in a series of protests and strikes against rising unemployment and austerity measures.

Some of the largest protests are taking place in Spain, where a general strike is under way.

There have also been significant walkouts - and outbreaks of violence - in Portugal, Greece and Italy.

Limited protests are taking place in other countries, including France and Belgium - and even in Germany where the traditionally strong economy has taken a hit.

The strikes have been called by the European Trade Union Confederation, which represents 85 separate organizations across the continent.

"Austerity is a total dead end, and must be abandoned. Social protection and wages can no longer be sacrificed," it said on its website.

"This is a social emergency, and it is time to listen to what the citizens and workers have to say, and to change course."

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