At the last summit of European heads of state held in Brussels at the end of June, the main theme was youth unemployment, which has now reached 23 percent of European youth (although it stands at 41 percent in Spain).
For a long time it was a given that while Europe was based on defending a more just society, with social values and solidarity, the United States was based on the glory of individualism and competition, and anything public was considered “socialist”.
Poverty in Portugal has risen to levels that were unimaginable a year ago despite the bleak outlook forecasted by the harsh measures imposed by the troika of creditors in exchange for the country's financial bailout.
More than 400 social organisations from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean will gather on Jan. 25-27 at a Summit of the Peoples called as an alternative to the bi-regional meeting of heads of state and government to be held at the same time in the Chilean capital.
The austerity programmes being rolled out in virtually every member state of the European Union (EU) - particularly in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy - have failed to reach their stated objective of consolidating public finances in order to solve sovereign debt crises.
Ignoring the thousands of protestors gathered outside the Greek parliament on Wednesday, the government voted in public spending cuts amounting to 17 billion dollars in an economy already on its knees from a lacerated budget.
Like a person on life support whose vital functions are failing, the Greek economy is slowly but surely shutting down as radiation from the so-called ‘austerity plan’ erodes public institutions.