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The  Athens Spring”  was harshly defeated in its attempt to take a different path, with the government humiliated and forced terms of surrender. However, the discontent over the direction of the euro-zone continues this  Autumn.

In Portugal, the  minority center right government was ousted and in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, the local parliament approved a step towards secession from Spain.

Anti-austerity government in Portugal

The Portuguese president preferred a  continuation of the previous government, which is led by his own party. He explained that “this is not the time” for a change and that the center right came out as the biggest party.

Yet just two weeks after the PM was returned to power, the majority of the parliament ousted him. That’s because despite coming as the biggest party in the October 4th elections, the left wing parties had the majority.

The left wing parties, including the communists, managed to put their differences aside for the first time in 40 years and agree on a coalition.. This is an anti-austerity coalition that threatens Brussels.

While  Portugal is currently out of a bailout program and is a small country on the periphery, it certainly is a warning sign.

Independence for Catalonia

The rich northeastern region of Spain, whose  capital is Barcelona, saw a majority for pro-independence parties, albeit no  popular vote for going alone.

Since the night of September 27th, the mainstream Junts pel si (Together for Yes) and the minor radical left CUP party have been working on a  road map for disconnecting from Spain.

Yesterday, the  parliament approved the first step for creating a new country.

This comes around  6 weeks before the general elections in Spain. While the story here isn’t directly  about austerity, it also shows the discontent with current policies, and the national feeling certainly got stronger due to the economic crisis.

Spain has followed orders from Brussels without winking and also received a bank bailout while health and education were cut down.

While this doesn’t have an effect on the euro just yet, things might heat up with the elections in Spain, and as Portugal takes anti-austerity measures.

Catalonia Independence Rally September 11 2012

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