Cyprus protesters demand end to 'devastating' austerity

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Several thousand demonstrators in Cyprus are calling for an end to government austerity policies they say have driven many in the bailed-out country to poverty.

Wednesday's protest, a day ahead of a European Central Bank meeting on the island, urged for more spending on job creation policies as opposed to cuts to reduce debt.

Some 18 groups organized the event, including left-wing trade unions, teacher and family groups, as well as student organizations.

Some protesters carried banners reading, "End to austerity, we want jobs," and "Save the people, not profits and banks."

Organizers put their demand for growth-oriented policies in a petition addressed to ECB chief Mario Draghi. They say among those attending were French, Greek and Austrian trade unionists as well as European Parliament member Fabio De Masi.