Workers express gloom, despair on May Day - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Workers express gloom, despair on May Day

MADRID (AP) -- May Day demonstrations around the world have been less a celebration of workers' rights and more a venting of fury over spending cuts, tax hikes and soaring unemployment around.

The trend began in Asia, where unions demanded wage increases, and continued in Europe. Thousands of workers filled the streets of Greece, France and Spain to protest austerity measures. Spain is the latest focus of the eurozone debt nightmare that has already forced three countries to seek financial bailouts.

Among the protesters in Madrid was a 25-year-old woman who speaks three languages and holds a masters degree as a translator. But with Spain's unemployment rate topping 24 percent, she says "there is no future for the young people of this country."

Even in Germany, where the economy is churning and unemployment is at a record low, unions estimate that 400,000 people showed up at May Day rallies. Unions there are calling for stimulus programs rather than austerity measures to revive Europe's depressed economies.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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