Massive protests in Europe against rising living costs

Massive protests in Europe against rising living costs

These days, European cities are witnessing widespread protests against increase in the cost of living, climate crisis, and increase in fuel prices, which has been worsened by the strikes of energy workers in France and the Ukrainian war.

Massive protests in Europe against rising living costs – These protests are taking place, especially in France, Belgium, and Moldova; photos published on social media show that the French police disperse the protesters using batons and pepper spray.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Paris, adding to growing defiance and anger about inflation, three weeks into a refinery strike that caused fuel shortages across France.

The demonstration against the rising cost of living on Sunday was called by the left-wing political opposition and led by the head of the France Unbowed party, Jean-Luc Melenchon.

It was a show of anger against the bite of rising prices and to crank up the pressure on the government of President Emmanuel Macron.

Organizers called it a “march against the high cost of living and climate inaction.”
“140,000 people attended Sunday’s rally. Police earlier predicted about 30,000 people would attend,” they added.

The French government has so far kept its nose out of the labor crisis brewing at its oil refineries—but it’s now stepping in with a hardline measure.

On Tuesday (October 11), the government said it would force some Esso-ExxonMobil fuel workers back to their plants as parts of the country ran out of fuel. “I’ve asked police commissioners to begin, as the law permits, the requisition of personnel essential to this company’s facilities,” prime minister Elisabeth Borne told lawmakers, quoted by Politico.

The people of Moldova, while also protesting against the increase in the cost of living in this country, demanded the lifting of Russian sanctions and the resignation of the country’s government.

Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, the EU has sought to contain Russia through the imposition of various sanctions and punitive mechanisms.

But due to the EU’s overreliance on Russian gas, anti-Moscow sanctions have caused more damage to EU citizens than they did to Russia, and as EU governments struggle to find alternatives to Russian oil, the masses are taking to the streets to voice their protest.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu called on the government to give special powers to security forces to crack down on a street protest movement that she said is intended to install a pro-Russia leadership.

Climate activists demonstrated at TotalEnergies oil sites at Feluy and Liege in Belgium on October 9 against sky-rocketing energy prices and the use of fossil fuels.

On the same day, thousands of people gathered in Prague’s Wenceslas Square in protest of the government’s incapacity to address the crushing costs of living and the downgrade in living standards, Sputnik reported.

The protests were called “Five Minutes to Midnight” by their organizers, the Czech Confederation of Trade Unions because they wanted to point out the incompetence of the government in dealing with the rising costs of living. The president of the confederation, Josef Stredula, said that people took over the streets over fears of “tomorrow, fear to lose their job and leave their families without money.”

Thousands of far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany) supporters marched Saturday in Berlin to protest the government’s energy policy.

AfD is hoping to instrumentalize the energy crisis and surging inflation with ongoing protests in the coming months to attract more potential voters under the motto: “Energy security and protection against inflation – our country first.”

Demonstrators could be seen carrying German and Russian flags as well far-right symbols, according to Berlin’s RBB broadcasting network.

They also held posters with slogans that read: “Stop government madness” and “yes to nuclear power.”

Protesters demanded the resignation of the center-left coalition government comprised of the Social Democrats, Greens, and Free Democrats.

Democrats, branding them as the “enemies of the state.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of mainly leftist counter-demonstrators took to the city’s government district to protest the AfD demonstration.

They accused the AfD of politically exploiting the rising cost of energy and food.

While hundreds of police were deployed to keep both sides from each other, there were some reports of minor skirmishes.

The Austrian Trade Union Federation (OGB) has hosted a series of protests in the past few days in the streets of Austria’s capital, Vienna, to protest the government’s “inactivity” in addressing rising energy costs.

Protests were held over citizens’ dissatisfaction with the government’s incapacity to deal with the current economic crisis.

The key demands citizens are calling for are the imposition of a price cap for heating, suspension of VAT on groceries and public transport tickets, lower taxes on fuel, and a freeze on rents.

source

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