Till debt do us part
24 Mar, 2011 15:42
The second day of the EU summit started with a bang: police and protesters clashed in Brussels as European Union leaders were gathering there Thursday for a fresh attempt addressing the EU's year-long debt crisis.
Police were reportedly using water cannons to disperse the crowd while demonstrators counter-attacked with stones, bottles and any other sharp objects that they could get their hands on. People are furious at the double standards that are being employed; that the EU is actually cracking down on demonstrators in the very heart of Europe, however when Libya’s leader Colonel Gaddafi cracks down on demonstrators there, the EU chooses to bomb him. The police made sure that the demonstrators were pushed further away from the building where the summit is to take place, so the EU leaders didn’t see the protests going on as they arrived today.The EU is expected to pass an even stricter, unprecedented level of powers for itself to allow it to impose further austerity measures on countries which it sees as overspending. Portugal’s Prime Minister resigned yesterday as a result of his government refusing austerity measures, which gives an understanding that the public does not support this.Protesters have been telling RT that they have not signed up for what is going on right now: wages are being cut while friends and family are loosing jobs.Trade Union leaders say that this is a step back for Europe as a whole, while Europe’s social model is something they want to keep, the generous pensions system and the good working conditions. The economic problems shifted the attention of the summit from discussion of the Libyan military conflict, on the agenda for the first day of the summit.Alliance forces have started pulling out troops due to a lack of leadership in the enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya.The major division in the coalition has come from the UK and France. David Cameron is urging NATO to take charge, while France, Germany and Turkey want to see separate governments take on much more of the decision making.The leadership crisis has forced Norway to pull its troops from the coalition’s operation in Libya. Many countries, such as Turkey, feel cheated, as the operation in Libya has gone beyond the UN Security Council’s resolution. With UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox saying that Gaddafi is “a legitimate target” for coalition forces and more troops being sent in, the operation seems to have deviated from its humanitarian course. Meanwhile, NATO’s Wednesday session revealed further complications. With the US trying to leave control and no other country willing to bridge the gap, there are concerns about how fully the bloc will actually get involved.