Dec. 13 - French trade unions kick off one of a series of national demonstrations against austerity outside the offices of Moody's Investor Services. Nick Rowlands reports.
French trade unions demonstrate outside the headquarters of Moody's Investor Services in Paris - the U.S. credit rating agency that has put the euro zone under review. A series of protests against austerity measures took place across France. (SOUNDBITE) (French) TRADE UNIONIST ANNE LE LOIRAIRE SAYING: "It's through boosting the economy that growth will return. Not through the continual imposition of austerity plans on the population and on workers. There have to be other choices." French President Nicolas Sarkozy is imposing a series of spending cuts on the country in order to save its prized AAA rating and shore up confidence in the euro zone's ability to control its debt. (SOUNDBITE) (French) MIKO, A PROTESTER, SAYING: "What we're seeing is a real war that is developing between governments and multinationals that have invented this system of rating agencies to floor governments one-by-one and to claw back all the social advantages from the citizens and workers, whether they are middle class or poor." Around 3,000 people took part in the demonstration, which headed towards the well-guarded National Assembly - the lower house of the French parliament. Together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sarkozy last week drove through agreement for a treaty that would place caps on countries' deficits - an agreement which the United Kingdom refused to join. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.