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The Boston Globe

Business

Austerity protests snarl many cities across Europe

BRUSSELS — Hundreds of thousands of Europe’s beleaguered citizens went on strike or snarled the streets of several capitals Wednesday, at times clashing with riot police, as they demanded that governments stop cutting benefits and create more jobs.

Workers with jobs and without spoke of a ‘‘social emergency’’ crippling the world’s largest economic bloc, a union of 27 nations and half a billion people.

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