Massive Rallies Held across Europe over Soaring Prices, Living Costs (+Videos)
- October, 09, 2022 - 11:10
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Several protests against rising prices and the oppressive cost of living were held in some of the major capital cities of the EU.
Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, the EU sought to contain Russia through the imposition of various sanctionary 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.
Prague: "Five Minutes to Midnight"
Thousands of people gathered in Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Saturday 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."
Activists are calling on the government to introduce regulations on food prices, basic goods, electricity, and gas and to raise the minimum wage.
In light of the upcoming presidential election that is scheduled to take place in January 2023, some media sources are suspecting Stredula of using mass protests to gather more popular support.
Berlin: "I want Russian gas and oil."
Germany's far-right group, the AfD, gathered in front of Berlin's Reichstag building today to protest the rising cost of living in light of soaring energy prices.
The AfD protesters then began to march across the city whose co-leader accused the government of waging a war against the German people by causing an energy crisis through the sanctioning of Russia. The police estimate that about 8,000 participants took part in the rallies.
Although the group encountered several counterdemonstrations on its way, some of the protestors in the AfD rally were seen waving not only German flags but also Russian flags, including the imperial Reichskrieg flag which is used as a far-right symbol.
Tino Chrupalla, the AfD co-leader, demanded that sanctions on Russia be lifted and called for Economy Minister Robert Habeck to resign over his reckless policy which caused him to wage a war on the German population instead of Moscow.
While many were seen chanting "Away with Habeck!" Chrupalla went off on the Minister's Green Party for pushing ahead on the imposing of a cap on gas prices
"The Greens want our country to be poor and weak," he said during the rallies.
"We don't need a cap on gas prices; we have to put a cap on the Greens," he said, adding that "gas price will become normal again when we buy cheap gas from Russia,"
Chrupalla noted that purchasing gas from the US and the UAE, as Germany plans to do, is just as morally suspect.
Co-leader, Alice Weidel, was scheduled to deliver a speech but canceled due to illness.
Vienna: "Prices Down!"
The Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) has been hosting 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 again today 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.
"With every day that the government remains inactive in the fight against inflation, prices rise and the concerns of employees increase," said ÖGB state chairman Andreas Stangl in yesterday's protest. He criticized, "One-off payments only work once, but it is to be feared that inflation will remain. Something must finally be done now to bring prices down and stop inflation!"
More protests are underway as the ÖGB plans to host a series of rallies from October 10 to October 14. The whole week will be dedicated to "high-profile" protests under the motto “Prices down”.