It's only a matter of time before we will see sights like this here in the US...
Analysis: Europe faces rising austerity protests in 2011
So far, social unrest over the financial crisis has varied from country to country. In some of the worst affected nations such as Ireland and Latvia, acceptance and even apathy has prevailed, while Greece has seen fatalities and street clashes.
Increasingly, there are signs of rising social pressures. Many Western European countries are only just embarking on multi-year deficit-reduction packages, a hard sell in states where expectations have risen for generations.
Greek protesters clashed with police in central Athens on Wednesday as tens of thousands marched against austerity measures aimed at pulling the country out of a debt crisis. On Tuesday, Italian rioters and police fought battles in Rome after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a no-confidence vote.
Britain saw its worst clashes in two decades last week as students demonstrated over tuition fee rises, with Prince Charles and wife Camilla caught up in the melee. More unrest is expected next year as unions protest against much broader cuts.
"It's almost inevitable that there will be more protest in 2011 than 2010, particularly in countries such as Greece and the UK where there are real public divisions over how much austerity is necessary," said Carina O'Reilly, European security analyst at IHS Jane's. "It's going to get nastier. We could well see deaths or serious injuries. We could well have seen deaths in the London riots last week. We were just lucky."