comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: As economy declines, Eastern Europe eyes violent protest
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

As economy declines, Eastern Europe eyes violent protest

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

Already there have been street violence in a few countries and as the economy declines, the violence is expected to increase. Just as many in Western Europe feared and protested factory closings a few years ago as business moved to the East, now the East is on the losing side of such movement plus they are saddled with too much easy credit. (China is also experiencing some of this along with factory closings due to lack of demand from the West.) As long as governments allow if not encourage business to move so casually - impact be damned - the story will never change. Give business whatever they want, because they know best and they act in the best interest of society, right?

Eastern Europe is heading for a violent "spring of discontent", according to experts in the region who fear that the global economic downturn is generating a dangerous popular backlash on the streets.

Hit increasingly hard by the financial crisis, countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states face deep political destabilisation and social strife, as well as an increase in racial tension.

Last week protesters were tear-gassed as they threw rocks at police outside parliament in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, in a protest against an austerity package including tax rises and benefit cuts.

In Sofia, Bulgaria, 150 people were arrested and at least 30 injured in widespread violence. More than 100 were detained after street battles between security forces and demonstrators in the Latvian capital, Riga.

According to the most recent estimates, the economies of some eastern European countries, after posting double-digit growth for nearly a decade, will contract by up to 5% this year, with inflation peaking at more than 13%. Many fear Romania, which joined the European Union with Bulgaria in 2007, may be the next to suffer major breakdowns in public order.

"In a few months there will be people in the streets, that much is certain," said Luca Niculescu, a media executive in Bucharest. "Every day we hear about another factory shutting or moving overseas. There is a new government that has not shown itself too effective. We have got used to very high growth rates. It's an explosive cocktail."

blog comments powered by Disqus