Berlin/Paris/London: In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the rising fuel prices and the sharp rise in inflation have hit European countries the most. In many leading nations of Europe, the common man has to face the ‘cost of living crisis’. Sharp repercussions have emerged from European countries, and widespread protests have begun in several leading countries. It includes leading economies like the UK, France and Germany.
For the past few months in France, demonstrations which started on the issue of retirement age have taken a violent turn. On Monday, there was a call for nationwide protests over wage hikes in Germany. Demonstrations by employees of schools, railways, and hospitals in the UK are constantly ongoing, and the employees of airports and government departments have warned of protests in the next month.
Leading workers’ unions in Germany called for protests on Monday. It has received wide response, and the railway service, as well as the air service, have come to a standstill in the country. The public bus service, the basis of road transport, has ceased. As a result, about 3 million workers have participated in the protests, according to two leading labour unions.
For the last few months in Germany, the inflation rate was around 8 to 9 per cent, and to face it, a demand was made to increase the employees’ salaries. Both organisations have proposed a 10.5 to 12 per cent increment. If the proposal is not accepted, there may be strikes and protests in the future, the organisations warned. As the protests have begun in Germany and France, these have taken a violent turn.
In some parts of western France, including the capital Paris, the media reported frequent clashes between the protestors and police. The labour union and opposition parties in France have indicated continuing protests for a long time. That’s why challenges posed to President Emmanuel Macron’s government seem to have intensified. The law brought by Macron regarding the retirement age from 62 to 64 is the root cause of the protests in France.
But in the last few days, students, youth organisations, and voluntary organisations were found to have participated in the protests. Therefore, demonstrations in France are said to be not only against the retirement law but also a symbol of resentment against Macron’s administration. The government is making all efforts to stop the protests in France, but President Macron has categorically refused to repeal the proposed law.
Even in the UK, the leading economy in Europe, protests are currently ongoing against the wage hike. In the last few months, the employees of schools, hospitals and public transport services also were on a spree of strikes and protests. In the next month, the staff of the airport as well as four government departments, have warned of carrying out protests. Therefore, there are indications that life in the UK may be disrupted in the next month.
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