May 1 - Residents in Greece and Spain hold austerity protests to mark annual Labor Day amid economic struggles. Jessica Gray reports.
Struggling European nations mark Labour Day on May 1 with anti-austerity protests. In Athens, unions and workers marched through the capital just days before a national election that could risk a multi-billion euro bailout package. The country needs the money to prevent it from defaulting on loans and staying in the European Union. But left wing politicians say the severe austerity measures that came hand in hand with the cash are hurting Greeks across the nation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PETROS CONSTANTINOU, MEMBER OF LEFT WING PARTY 'ANTARSYA', SAYING: "The people are very angry and this will be expressed in the elections. The political system will be in deep crisis, and from the 7th of May we will to have to resist more strongly against them. The message will be very clear: we are resisting capitalists and we have alternative solutions against them." One in two Greek youth are out of work and swaths of civil servant jobs have been cut in recent years. In Spain, protesters held similar rallies in Madrid in response to new austerity measures to help it meet deficit targets. Marchers say the controversial measures, which include health and education job cuts as well as tax increases, are too much. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARACELI, DOCTOR, SAYING: "It's abusive. I think that young people don't have the rights, they shouldn't be going through this after having prepared so hard (educationally). They should be able to enjoy the protection and the citizen's rights that their parents and grandparents have worked for." Unions here have called for protests in 80 towns and cities. Jessica Gray, Reuters