UPDATE: In the east of Almeria Province – the Mojacar area – the morning of the national strike appears to have started without reported incidents. Pickets have not yet been spotted in the area and for all intense and purposes it is business as usual. Schools, banks. Petrol stations and supermarkets contacted were all open.
Meanwhile this morning, unions declared the 24-hour general strike in Almeria City as a resounding success. They claim 90% of businesses were shut, although in the early hours of the morning this was probably true.
At the strike of midnight 100 picketers barricaded the exit gates of the Almeria bus station to stop buses leaving. Ten minutes later 50 riot police dispersed the crowd and with some remaining at the station on guard.
At 6am a picket of about 40 people closed access to Almeria Port, although from 9am it reopened and is now reported as operating with about 30% of the workforce having joined the strike.
Municipal rubbish collection did not take place.
Almeria fire services have attended a dozen incidents of burning rubbish containers and tyres across the city.
Pickets also stopped access to several retail parks and industrial estates although this was before most of the businesses were due to open.
Nationally, the government assures minimum public transport services are in operation. Electricity consumption in Spain this morning dropped by 19% compared to the normal amount, attributed to the strike.
Clashes with police have been reported in Barcelona, Alicante and Vigo.+
Unions say construction and metal industries have seen a 100% participation with the strike.
Euro-demonstration against austerity measures
BRUSSELS, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) — Around 100,000 people are expected to gather in Brussels on Wednesday for a key part of Europe-wide demonstration against austerity measures.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) called for a European Day of Action on Wednesday to demonstrate against the austerity measures adopted recently by many European countries and to ask for recovery plans promoting quality jobs and growth.
As many countries have been badly hit by the global financial and economic crisis, European authorities have decided to implement drastic budget measures and social reforms, such as Greece’s austerity plan or France’s pension reform.
Between 80,000 and 100,000 members of fifty Trade Unions organizations from 30 countries are expected to take part in the demonstration held on Wednesday in Brussels.
After the demonstration, an ETUC delegation is expected to meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, whose country ensures the rotating Presidency of the European Union.
Besides the Euro-demonstration in Brussels, a general strike has been called in Spain for the first time in 8 years. Actions and demonstration movements will also take place on Wednesday in other European countries, namely Portugal, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Serbia, Romania, Poland , Ireland and France.