Workers Take To The Streets In Europe

Banks not workers should pay the cost of global financial crisis - unions.

Workers in their thousands took to the streets of Brussels today  to protest against sweeping austerity measures by many national governments.

The protests come as unions in Spain hold a general strike  and unions in other European Union states staged demonstrations, including Greece, Poland, Italy, Latvia, Ireland and Serbia, the BBC reports.

In Spain, protesters clashed with police outside Madrid's main bus depot.

The European Trade Union Confederation said EU workers could become the biggest victims of a financial crisis set off by bankers and traders.

We didn't cause this crisis. The bill has to be paid by banks, not by workers" a spokesperson for the European Trade Union Confederation told the BBC.

Governments across the 27-member bloc are slashing wages, pensions and employment to cut back on debts.

Unemployment is soaring.

The European Trade Union Confederation (Etuc) said it was aiming for 100,000 people from some 30 countries to take part in the Brussels march where protesters were voicing their anger over budget-slashing plans and cuts which "could lead Europe into a recession".

It said the financial crisis had already made 23m people across the EU jobless.