‘Freeze prices, not people’: Europe takes to the streets in anger over energy bills

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

The people of Vienna took to the streets to protest.

A picture: REUTERS

BELGI: “FREEZE PRICES, NO PEOPLE”

Thousands of people took to the streets in Brussels, protest against the sky-high prices of electricity, gas and groceries. About 10,000 people took part in the action, according to trade union organizations and the police. Public transport was shut down during the demonstration.

People marched through the center of the Belgian capital with banners “Life is too expensive, we need solutions now”, “Everything is growing except our salaries” and “Freeze the prices, not the people”. All of them are asking the authorities to pay attention to the sharp rise in the cost of living.

According to the survey, 64% of respondents are concerned that they may not be able to pay their electricity and gas bills, which have doubled this year. 80% said they are trying to pay their energy bills while saving electricity and water.

SLOVAKIA: EARLY ELECTIONS

In Slovakia on September 20 there was a demonstration against the sharp rise in energy prices. Thousands of activists demanded early government elections because of the current ineffective actions.

The action was organized by the opposition Social Democrats, led by former Prime Minister Robert Fico. He blamed both the coalition government and President Zuzana Chupatova for the high inflation.

The majority of those present opposed the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union and supported the actions of Hungary, which has an independent policy from the EU.

GERMANY: BAKERIES OF ALL COUNTRIES UNITED

At the end of last week there was a demonstration in Hanover, Germany, where 100 bakers were present. They resist rising electricity prices for fear that they could lose their business by not being able to pay the higher energy bills.

Prior to this, a similar action took place in Leipzig. There, several thousand protesters took to the streets against rising prices for food, electricity and gas.

AUSTRIA: COMMUNISTS AGAINST

Mass demonstrations took place in Austria over the weekend against the government’s inefficient action in an effort to deal with the cost of living crisis. The organizers were the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions, the Youth Front, the Communist Party of Austria and the Austrian Workers’ Party. Protests were held in all major cities, including Vienna, Eisenstadt, Bruck an der Mur, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Bregenz. More than 30,000 people across the country took part in the demonstrations, according to organizers, and about 20,000 activists took to the streets in Vienna alone.

ITALI: “ACCOUNTS BATTLE”

In Italy’s Veneto region, local businessmen took part in the protests. They spoke out against energy companies raising electricity prices. They defiantly tore up bills and stated that they refused to pay. The action was organized by the Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Rights of Users and Consumers. The movement has already been dubbed “strike laws”, the protesters hope to be supported in all regions of Italy very soon. After the rise in electricity prices, Italians will have to pay about 3,500 euros per year for gas and electricity.

Iran embroiled in protests over police girl’s death

Protests have now been held in Iran for the fifth day, which began after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The woman was arrested by the deputy police for wearing the hijab incorrectly. According to human rights activists, Amini was severely hit on the head by law enforcement officers, which killed her. However, an official investigation disproves this.

During the meetings, many women defiantly took off their hijabs and burned them. Some cut their hair to the applause of the crowd. Videos of women cutting their hair are circulating on social media.

“No headscarf, no turban, yes – freedom and equality” – with such a slogan, people took to the streets not only in Iran, but also in Turkey. It is reported that six people were killed during the proliferation of demonstrations.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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