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Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:29 PM

Austerity Protests Are Rude Awakening in Portugal

Source: NYT

Portugal has long been regarded a role model in the grinding euro zone crisis. In return for an international bailout, its government cut services and raised taxes while its citizens patiently endured with little of the popular outcry seen elsewhere in southern Europe.

That is, until now.

Suddenly, the Portuguese, too, have joined the swelling ranks of Europeís discontented, following Greece and Spain, after the government tried to take another step up the austerity path last month. For many here, it was one step too far, driving tens of thousands into the streets in the largest protest of Portugalís crisis.

As Pedro Passos Coelho, Portugalís center-right prime minister, prepares to announce a new budget on Monday ó filled with still more steep tax increases and public sector job cuts ó he faces the kind of popular backlash that was, until recently, absent from the political and social landscape here.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/europe/portugal-readies-budget-with-job-cuts-and-tax-increases.html?pagewanted=all

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:42 PM

1. Is austerity working anywhere? Why do people accept that this strategy works without evidence?

Even with evidence that people's lives actually get worse. And that is what this is all supposed to be about...improving peoples lives.

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Response to bloomington-lib (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:55 PM

3. The moneyed interests like austerity

 

So that's why you don't need evidence that it works. When it fails, they have a brilliant solution...more austerity.

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Response to bloomington-lib (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 07:00 PM

4. No, it has never worked anywhere, well not for the people. It works fine for corrupt

Bankers as it forces the people to pay their gambling debts and helps to keep their big bonuses coming.

It also achieves a long held goal of the Ruling Class, to destroy Social Programs because they cannot stand to see the people getting anything with money they believe would be better used by investing it on Wall Street.

People are starting to die now in Europe as a result of these draconian and criminal policies. Elderly people in Britain whose benefits have been cut, are unable to make it eg. In Greece some people are committing suicide and there are huge fears that many vulnerable people will die from lack of necessities during the coming months.

Austerity = Crime by the wealthy perpetrated against the working class.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 07:55 PM

5. Well how do they keep the social programs and pay for them then?

After all the article does say they have been raising taxes yet they appear to be still having problems so why? Taxes not raised high enough? Taxes not being raised for the wealthy? What I am trying to ask I guess is what exactly is the main issue, the one thats causing the majority of the problems.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:24 PM

6. What caused the problems was the Global Financial Meltdown caused by the corruption

that every day we are seeing more revelations about. The people had nothing to do with that, they did not profit from it and they did not give their governments permission to have their pensions and their mortgages used as gambling chips in the Wall Street Casino. And had they known the corrupt practices that were being used risking their homes and pensions, they would have been worried long before the extent of the corruption was revealed.

See Iceland, it is a microcosm of what happened everywhere else. The difference there was they arrested their corrupt bankers and government officials and then installed a new government. They are the only country affected by the Global Meltdown to be on the rebound because they refused to accept the austerity programs being imposed on the rest of Europe.

There was plenty of money to bail out the corrupt banks but not enough to provide life saving Health Care and benefits to those who most needed it? Sorry, but there never should have been bailouts. There is never enough to feed this greed while taking from the people.

Banks should have been nationalized, crooked bankers and politicians who aided and abetted them, should have been arrested and any ill-gotten profits they made confiscated.

There is no reason why Social Programs should be sacrificed so that crooked bankers can be bailed out only to continue their corrupt practices.

What was needed was a program to provide jobs, when people have jobs they pay taxes. Instead all the money was spent on bailing out the criminals and unemployment rose to alarming proportions in countries like Spain and Greece and elsewhere.

These policies were never going to work. They will eventually have to be discarded, as things just keep getting worse. It is pure insanity to continue doing over and over again what failed so spectacularly already.

Health Care is a right in Europe as it should be and should be untouchable as it involves LIVES. But those running things right now do not care about the lives of ordinary people and sooner or later unless someone steps in, the unrest will grow to where they can no longer control it. It wouldn't be the first time in history where Governments put so much unfair pressure on populations that they rose up and took matters into their own hands.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 12:17 AM

9. Should have? Perhaps, considering how many judges and politicians are in the back pocket

of those same banks then and even now almost all over the world though I dont think its likely.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 11:54 AM

12. That's exactly it -- corruption.

Austerity won't solve the problem. The corrupt bankers and their government minions must be removed from their offices.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 12:58 PM

14. Refused to accept the austerity programs being imposed on the rest of Europe ?

Iceland isn't in the Euro.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 01:44 PM

16. What has got to do with these programs being imposed on populations?

WE are not in the Euro either, yet up to the point where OWS took to the streets, OUR Government was talking the same Austerity language, 'share the sacrifice', 'cut social programs' 'the deficit has to be cut so we attack Social Programs'. The Simpson/Bowles Deficit Commission may as well have been run by Brussels. The burden for the gambling debts of the Wall Street Bankers was being put on the people, taking away their benefits etc, just as it has been in Europe. OWS and an election looming at least made the Dems drop that discussion, for NOW. But many believe we will start hearing it again after the election regardless of who wins. These are Global policies.

Argentina wasn't in the Euro either.

The same gang are running all of this, whether you are in the Euro or not. They have their puppets all over the world.

Greece and Ireland and Portuga, Spain, et al all should have done what Iceland did, and so should WE in the US. We now know that the US Treasury helped bail out foreign banks. Why? They did not tell the American people they were using their money to bail out these Global institutions.

Being in the Euro has zero to do with these policies, which every country in or out of it, should resist strenuously. They are a disaster and were when implemented in third world countries, who were also not in the Euro.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 09:11 PM

8. "Raising taxes" has become shorthand for lazy journalism. What it means is not taxing the wealthy.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 11:43 AM

11. They raise taxes on the middle class

Then the middle class has less disposable income, so they buy less, causing business to lose sales. People get laid off, so less people are working, less taxes are collected.

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Response to vinny9698 (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 01:26 PM

15. Odd, that sounds like Romneys plan to save the american economy. nt

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:44 PM

2. Du rec. Nt

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:28 PM

7. Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, United States.....

 

"Austerity" Def: Austerity is the code word that means that the 1% of the wealthiest people in the world will attempt to place the burden of their bad decisions on the backs of the working poor.

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Response to lib2DaBone (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 12:03 PM

13. Brilliant!!! So true.

After the world-wide 2% have shafted the 98% by stealing, scamming, cheating, lying, drugging, and refusing to pay decent wages for honest hard work, using as war fodder, stealing land and otherwise ripping the off the 98% the 98% need to rise up and fight back with whatever weapons they have and many are doing it by striking, protesting, and voting. More of the 98% will get the message and refuse the homage paid in the past. Reckless abandonment of the world is what the 2% are guilty of and after centuries the people are beginning to rise up.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 12:39 AM

10. The lesson here is:

They should have started protesting earlier.

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