(NaturalNews) Economic conditions are continuing to unravel in the so-called eurozone, where proposed austerity measures have sparked new waves of rioting and civil unrest throughout Spain, the fourth largest economy in the European Union (EU). According to multiple news reports compiled by the InvestmentWatch blog, more than 140 people have already been arrested, and at least 74 injured, in recent days after mass protests broke out in numerous cities across Spain, which quickly spread northward and eastward into other EU countries.
Tens of thousands of union workers took to the streets not only in Spain, but also in Portugal and Italy, to protest government austerity proposals that would freeze pensions, eliminate Christmas bonuses, and initiate drastic social spending cuts that would ultimately fall on the backs of the citizenry rather than on the bankers and politicians responsible for causing the economic debacle in the first place. In Madrid, Spain's capital city, tensions grew so high that some protests actually turned violent, particularly as police began firing rubber bullets and other anti-riot weaponry at protesters.
At the same time, roughly 5,000 Spanish police officers put down their weapons and actually joined the protests in Madrid, according to RT.com. Since their own salaries and pensions are also on the line, these defenders of the peace are starting to wake up to the fact that the EU central bank, much like the private Federal Reserve here in the U.S., is essentially robbing EU citizens of their future by essentially placing the collective debt burden on EU citizens, and self-destructing the regional economy.
"Europe is waking up today -- from Rome to Madrid to Athens," said one Rome resident to the AFP about the recent eruption of protests in Italy.
As promising as these demonstrations might be in terms of garnering more public attention about the financial shakedown, they likely will do little to change the course of the economy throughout the EU. Unemployment rates in both Spain and Greece continue to hover around 25 percent, according to reports. Eurostat estimates that nearly 26 million adult men and women throughout the EU are currently unemployed.
"They are taking away our future," read one of the large banners hung in a main square in Madrid. Another banner in Brussels, Belgium, read "Austerity is the problem, not the solution," indicating a growing awareness about the failure of the bailout approach to instigate any real, positive economic change.