The Associated PressCUT IT OUT: Thousands of Europeans 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. DO OR DIE: To combat a three-year financial crisis over too much debt, governments across Europe have had to cut spending, pensions, benefits and raise taxes. END OF AN ERA? Europe has a long history of union action. Workers' rights and benefits have been one of the cornerstones of its welfare states, with guaranteed medical care, generous unemployment benefits and often comfortable pensions.