Police and protesters clashed in Spain, Italy and Portugal as millions of workers went on strike to challenge to austerity policies.
As well as strikes across Europe, today has also produced figures that may convince people at the top that austerity is self-defeating.
David Cameron has promised to investigate the closure of a centre that has helped thousands of people overcome their disabilities.
Our economy is sick and the Government's medicine is not working. We were told that short-term pain would deliver long-term gain, yet all we see are nasty side-effects with no sign of a cure.
What is worse is that we now seem to be locked into a vicious downward spiral of cuts. They are not working so the Government cuts even more.
– New TUC chief Frances O'Grady
Reducing the living standards of some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society, while attempting to tar them all as scroungers, is perhaps the very definition of a party determined to be seen as nasty and, what is more, it will further depress demand and slow the economy.
People on the breadline spend every penny of their income, and mainly spend it in the local economy, while those who will benefit from the cut in the 50p tax rate coming this year are as likely to save it or take it offshore.
The new leader of the TUC has launched a strong attack on the Government for its "vicious spiral" of spending cuts which are hitting low-paid workers and jobseekers.
The coalition has reduced the living standards of some of the poorest people in the country through its welfare and benefits reforms, said Frances O'Grady, the first female leader of the TUC.
The Government is failing to offer the country a vision for the economy or hope for the future, she said.
Councils in England will see their spending power cut by 1.7% next year, the Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has announced.
Protesters in Madrid have targeted a branch on Spanish bank Santander, smashing windows and scrawling graffiti blaming the bank for the financial woes of the country.
Main roads in the Spanish capital remain closed with multiple fires raging as firefighters try and keep up with protesters.
There were angry clashes in some European cities today as hundreds of thousands of people took part in anti-austerity protests.
Strikes and rallies took place in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and Belgium:
Hundreds of thousands of protesters are on the streets of Madrid tonight. Their message to their leaders is that not only is austerity not working, but that it's making things worse.
That message is supported by dreadful economic figures today that show accelerating recession in southern Europe and big falls in manufacturing output.
All the focus, certainly in Brussels and Berlin, is on saving the Euro and avoiding the catastrophe that they think would follow a collapse of the currency.
But leaders in cities like Madrid have to see what their people are doing and saying. Much more of protests like today's, and this country could become ungovernable.