Bri­tish teach­ers and civil ser­vants strike

Kathimerini English - - Business -

LON­DON (Reuters) – Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Bri­tish teach­ers and civil ser­vants will strike over pen­sion re­form to­day in the most se­ri­ous chal­lenge to the coali­tion gov­ern­ment’s aus­ter­ity drive. Thou­sands of schools will close as teach­ers skip class and trav­el­ers face de­lays at ports and air­ports as im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials join the protest. Protests are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­mon across Europe in what is turn­ing into a sum­mer of strife. The most vivid im­ages have come from Greece, where hooded youths ri­oted ahead of a par­lia­men­tary vote on bud­get cuts and tax rises to stave off bank­ruptcy. In Poland, the Sol­i­dar­ity trade union has or­ga­nized a day of protests in War­saw against the cen­ter-right gov­ern­ment to­day, one day be­fore Poland as­sumes the ro­tat­ing six-month pres­i­dency of the Euro­pean Union for the first time. Sol­i­dar­ity, heir to the or­ga­ni­za­tion that top­pled the com­mu­nist regime in 1989, has in­vited work­ers from other Euro­pean coun­tries in­clud­ing cri­sis-stricken Greece to join the protests. Across Europe, house­holds are fac­ing up to lower liv­ing stan­dards as gov­ern­ments strive to re­pair pub­lic fi­nances bat­tered by the credit cri­sis of 2008-09. Pub­lic sec­tor work­ers in Bri­tain are al­ready fac­ing a pay freeze and more than 300,000 job cuts as the Con­ser­va­tive-led coali­tion seeks to vir­tu­ally wipe out by 2015 a bud­get deficit that peaked at more than 10 per­cent of na­tional out­put. Pen­sion re­form is the fi­nal straw for some unions, an­gered that their mem­bers are be­ing asked to work longer and pay more for their re­tire­ment. maker Josep Du­ran i Lleida told par­lia­ment in Madrid yes­ter­day. Ana Maria Ora­mas, a law­maker from the Coa­li­cion Canaria who sup­ported the last bud­get, said yes­ter­day she un­der­stood Za­p­a­tero’s term will end in Septem­ber and yes­ter­day wished him well in his per­sonal life af­ter leav­ing of­fice. Za­p­a­tero, strug­gling to shield Spain from the con­ta­gion of the Greek sov­er­eign debt cri­sis, won’t seek a third term af­ter his party’s worst lo­cal elec­tion de­feat in three decades last month. The So­cial­ists are seven seats short of a ma­jor­ity and if the bud­get fails, tra­di­tion calls for an elec­tion even though the gov­ern­ment can re­vert to the pre­vi­ous year’s spend­ing plan. “By Septem­ber, the mar­kets may not al­low them to roll over the bud­get,” said Ken Du­bin, a po­lit­i­cal-science pro­fes­sor at Car­los III Univer­sity in Madrid who also teaches at the IE Busi­ness School. “The re­sults of the lo­cal elec­tions def­i­nitely in­creased the chances of early gen­eral elec­tions.”

(Bloomberg) quire­ments on for­eign ex­change de­posits at 20 per­cent and the ra­tio for leu de­posits at 15 per­cent, it said yes­ter­day. Sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries, in­clud­ing Den­mark, Nor­way and Rus­sia, have raised in­ter­est rates in the past two months to slow price in­creases sparked by surg­ing com­mod­ity prices. The Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank sig­naled a rate in­crease yes­ter­day, cit­ing price pres­sures, as in­fla­tion in the euro re­gion ex­ceeded its 2 per­cent limit in May for a sixth month. “It’s not sur­pris­ing that the Ro­ma­nian cen­tral bank re­mains cau­tious in the face of a chal­leng­ing in­fla­tion out­look and threats of spillovers from Greece,” Pasquale Diana, a Lon­don­based econ­o­mist at Mor­gan Stan­ley, said in an e-mail. (Bloomberg)

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