May Day Protests Spark Clashes on the Streets in Europe

Matt LloydMay 01, 2013 01:48 PM EDT


Protesters gathered in the streets around Europe today for the continent's traditional labor day.  

Turkish riot police were watching over the crowds and clashing with the protesters in Istanbul as thousands were trying to carry on with an annual march on the city's landmark public square.  

In Athens, Greece and Madrid, Spain people were also out protesting the ways of the government and loss of jobs in their communities. In Greece there were demonstrations of a 24-hour strike that hit transport systems and hospitals and in the capital Athens, thousands protested against government spending cuts and tax hikes. 

Elsewhere in European cities, demonstrations to mark the annual celebration went peacefully.

Kostas Tsikrikas, president of the Confederation of Civil Servants trade union, said his organization would continue to battle against austerity. He said Greeks will continue to fight to overturn this unfair and dead-end policy that is destroying millions of jobs on a national and European level and is driving large swathes of society to poverty and destruction.

International Workers' Day, which is also commonly known as May Day, celebrates the international labor movement. This is a national holiday in more than 80 countries around the world.

The Greek government is implementing a tougher austerity policy spurred by its international lenders which is not going over well by the people.   

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