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Six unions band together to fight 'devastating cuts' demanded by Liberals

TORONTO - Premier Kathleen Wynne likes to paint the Progressive Conservatives as the instigators of labour unrest, but she's the one waging war, union leaders said Wednesday. Six public sector unions representing about 57,000 members are issuing a call to arms and joining forces to fight what they're calling "devastating" cuts to Ontario civil servants. "We will not let the government pick us off one at a time," said Gary Gannage, president of the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario.

Six unions band together to fight 'devastating cuts' demanded by Liberals

TORONTO - Premier Kathleen Wynne likes to paint the Progressive Conservatives as the instigators of labour unrest, but she's the one waging war, union leaders said Wednesday. Six public sector unions representing about 57,000 members are issuing a call to arms and joining forces to fight what they're calling "devastating" cuts to Ontario civil servants. "We will not let the government pick us off one at a time," said Gary Gannage, president of the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario.

France's Valls wins parliament backing for tax and spend shake-up

By Leigh Thomas PARIS (Reuters) - New Prime Minister Manuel Valls won a vote of confidence in parliament on Tuesday after unveiling planned tax and public spending cuts, vowing to bring France's public deficit down while resisting outright austerity.

Thousands march in Spain against austerity

Tens of thousands of people marched in dozens of Spanish cities on Thursday against austerity measures enacted by the government, which is under pressure from the EU to reduce its public deficit. Rallies were staged in Madrid and 53 other cities by more than 100 organisations, including Spain's two largest trade unions, the CCOO and UGT, as well as groups representing health and education services.

Italy economy ministry calls for change of approach in EU

By James Mackenzie ROME (Reuters) - Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan called on Friday for a "serious, non-ideological" discussion of the problem of growth in Europe as the government in Rome pressed its drive for a change in emphasis in EU economic policy. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has hammered away at the need for Europe to shift its focus from budget rigor and do more to solve problems ranging from soaring youth unemployment to lack of investment in schools and hospitals.

Anti-austerity protest turns violent in Spanish capital

By Inmaculada Sanz MADRID (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards rallied in Madrid on Saturday against poverty and EU-imposed austerity in a largely peaceful protest later marred by violent clashes in which police fired rubber bullets. Some protesters started to throw stones and bottles at the large numbers of riot police present and attacked cashpoints and hoardings. The police fired rubber bullets to disperse them, according to video footage seen by Reuters.

Greek civil service union starts 2-day strike to protest austerity program, planned job cuts

ATHENS, Greece - Greek civil servants, including hospital and teaching staff, have started a two-day strike against austerity measures imposed under the debt-mired country's international bailout commitments. Unions are also planning a protest march later Wednesday through central Athens.

Protesters, riot police scuffle during ban on demonstrations for German president visit

ATHENS, Greece - Greek riot police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons in scuffles Thursday with anti-austerity protesters who took to the streets despite a partial ban on demonstrations in the capital during a visit by German President Joachim Gauck. The scuffles in central Athens broke out when a group of several dozen demonstrators attempted to break through a police cordon set up on a major avenue as they headed toward the Finance Ministry.

Greek port workers strike over plans to sell stake in major port

ATHENS, Greece - Greek dock workers across the country walked off the job Wednesday in a 24-hour strike to protest plans to sell a stake in the Piraeus Port Authority, the country's largest port. Hundreds of striking port workers gathered in central Athens and marched to Parliament for a protest rally. Nearby, protesting farmers' market suppliers demonstrated outside the Finance Ministry against higher taxes. Both rallies ended peacefully.

Greek finance minister: tough negotiations continue with creditors, but no reason for concern

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's finance minister said Friday that the country was still in talks with international creditors over the course of its economic reforms, but insisted there was no cause for concern and that the government was not being pressed to impose more austerity. Representatives of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission, collectively known as the troika, visit Athens regularly to check on the progress of reforms and to release funds from a multi-billion package of loans, upon which Greece has depended since 2010.
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