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Italy's largest union, the CGIL, on Wednesday threatened a general strike for June to protest against the government's austerity measures aimed at stabilising public finances.
Secretary General Guglielmo Epifani said he would ask the union's management committee to approve the strike, Italian news agencies reported.
"I will ask the management committee to call for a general strike with regional demonstrations between now and the end of June," he said. The committee meets in early June.
The CGIL includes some five million members. Italy's other two large unions, the CISL and the
The Greek government has pledged to make drastic spending cuts and boost tax revenue in return for a 110bn-euro (£95bn) bail-out from the EU and International Monetary Fund.
Greece has started drawing on the bail-out money because a sharp downgrade of its sovereign debt rating made its borrowing costs soar.
The aim is to slash the budget deficit from 13.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) to below 3% by 2014. The EU's stability pact sets 3% as an EU-wide maximum for deficits.
Greece has started cracking down on tax evasion, and on corruption within the tax and customs service. It will also curb its widespread early retirement schemes. The average retirement age is set to rise from 61.4 to 63.5.
Under the plan to slash the budget by 30bn euros (£26bn; $37bn) over three years Greece aims to: scrap bonus payments for public sector workers; freeze public sector salaries and pensions for at least three years; increase sales tax (VAT) from 19% to 23%; raise taxes on fuel, alcohol and tobacco by 10%.
The harsh measures have already triggered a wave of public sector strikes and violence on the streets of Athens.
The Italian government has approved austerity measures worth 24bn euros for the years 2011-2012. The cuts amount to about 1.6% of Italian GDP, and are aimed at bringing the deficit below the EU's 3% ceiling.
Italy aims to cut public sector pay and freeze new recruitment. Public sector pensions and local government spending are also being targeted, and there are plans to crack down on tax evasion.
Funding to city and regional authorities is expected to be cut by more than 13bn euros.
For the next three years there will be a freeze on public sector pay rises and cuts in public sector hiring, replacing only one employee for every five who leave.
Progressive pay cuts of up to 10% are planned for high earners in the public sector, including ministers and parliamentarians.
Retirement will be delayed by up to six months for those who reach retirement age in 2011.
Provincial governments serving fewer than 220,000 inhabitants will be scrapped, as will several publicly funded think-tanks.
Spain's austerity drive includes a 5% cut in public sector pay, starting in June. Salaries will then be frozen for 2011.
More than 6bn euros will be cut from public investment and some pensions will be frozen. In all, the spending cuts will total 15bn euros in 2010-2011.
Smaller savings include an end to the 2,500-euro cash payout for new mothers, known as "baby cheques".
The long recession left Spain with a swollen budget deficit - more than 11% of GDP, way above the EU's 3% target.
Spain's public finances have come under intense scrutiny since the Greek bail-out deal, amid fears that Spain could be the next "weak link" in the eurozone.
The new UK coalition government has announced £6.2bn (7.2bn euros) of savings in 2010-2011, making it clear that this is just the first step in an austerity drive aimed at cutting the huge deficit of £156bn, which is above 11% of GDP.
The biggest of all the departmental cuts will be at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, totalling £836m.
David Cameron's government hopes to make big savings by delaying or stopping government contracts and projects, by cutting consultancy and travel costs and by slimming down public sector agencies known as quangos.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The Irish government has presented three austerity packages in just over a year.
In December the budget for 2010 slashed government spending by 4bn euros, cut all public servants' pay by at least 5% and reduced social welfare.
The measures include cuts of 760m euros in social welfare and 960m euros in investment projects.
Child benefit is being cut by 16 euros per month, bringing the lower rate to 150 euros per month and the higher rate to 187 euros per month.
A carbon tax has been brought in, set at 15 euros per tonne of CO2.
The Irish deficit currently stands at 12% of GDP. The government aims to cut it in stages, to reach 2.9% in 2014.
The Socialist government of Jose Socrates has announced a range of austerity measures aimed at cutting the deficit to 7.3% this year and 4.6% in 2011.
Top earners in the public sector, including politicians, will see a 5% pay cut.
VAT will rise by 1% and there will be income tax hikes for those earning more than 150,000 euros. By 2013 they will face a 45% tax rate.
By 2013 military spending will have been cut by 40% and the government is delaying the launch of two high-speed rail links - the Lisbon-Porto and Porto-Vigo routes.
Romanian trade unions plan a one-day general strike next month when parliament debates wage and pension cuts as agreed under a 20 billion euro ($25 billion) IMF-led aid deal, a union leader said on Wednesday. Govt to face parliamentary confidence vote in June.
A decision from the cabinet on the salaries and pension cuts was expected on Wednesday evening. It will then be presented to the parliament.
The news led Romania's three largest unions to announce extensive protests, with plans for at least 400,000 teachers, public administration employees and health-care professionals to launch an indefinite strike on May 31 if the austerity measures are approved.
Protest rallies were reportedly planned nationwide