The November 14 (14N) day of action in Italy saw a general strike and massive demonstrations the length and breadth of the country. There was a large turn out of students in particular and the day was also marked by severe police brutality, with many peaceful demonstrators attacked senselessly by the police. This is a clear sign of the new period we have entered in Italy, one of growing class conflict as workers and youth begin to react against the draconian austerity measures being imposed on them.

Since the second half of the 1990s, many Italian local authorities began to delve in financial derivatives to get additional funding[1]. The result was an absolute disaster. In terms of criminal law, the Italian courts are presently in the process of deciding who will pay for such practices. The social cost, however, will be paid by the workers through higher taxes and cuts in public services.

The Greek crisis is reaching a decisive turning point. In the run up to the recent elections many reassurances were made, but everyone knows that what is actually being prepared is a plan for an exit from the euro in an attempt to minimize the consequences and then to put the blame for this on the "irresponsible" Greeks.

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