Austerity measures have been a major point of tension between European governments and their population, often resulting in violent clashes.
Over the past several months, coordinated demonstrations have been held in nearly every European nation, protesting everything from taxes and a rising retirement age to cuts in benefits and inflated student costs.
In addition to the budget protests are demonstrations against unpopular leaders and other government actions, which have caused protestors to take to the streets en masse.
Here are scenes from the past several months of European protests, including the most recent demonstrations in Italy and the UK.
Updated 14 Dec 2010