July 19, 2024

Athens News

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Coming in France "big" strike

On Sunday, October 16, tens of thousands took to the streets of Paris to protest against the “dear life”, rising prices and the inaction of the authorities in the field of climate warming, but this is only the beginning.

Annie Ernault, a Nobel Prize winner in literature, took part in the Sunday demonstration organized by the Left Opposition. A general strike is scheduled in France for today, Tuesday 18 October.

According to the police, 30 thousand people took to the streets of Paris on Sunday, according to the organizers – much more, up to 140 thousand people. The action “against dear life and climate inaction” of the authorities was held at the call of the left opposition. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a former French presidential candidate and leader of the French extreme left, was at the head of the protest column. He was supported and took part in the protests by the French writer Annie Erno, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature on October 6.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, according to a correspondent RFI Aurélien Devernoy expressed the hope that Sunday’s action would be a prelude to the emergence of a “new popular front”. The leader of the France Insubordinate party supported the idea of ​​a general strike on October 18, announced by the French trade unions of transport workers and civil servants, and said that this march is a gesture in support of those who intend to strike on Tuesday. On his twitter, he wrote:

Another life is possible – without ruining some for the sake of gaining others. Another world is possible, without the looting brought about by productivity-demanding capitalism. Thanks to what we are doing today, we are creating a new Popular Front.

AFP recalls that the Popular Front is a left-wing coalition that came to power in 1936. Then the deputies managed to achieve a significant increase in salaries and introduce the first paid holidays in France. Last Sunday, the agency notes, numerous representatives of the “yellow vests” movement and many pensioners also participated in the rally. The head of the French Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, adds: “Our message is simple: we want a better distribution of wealth.”

The media noted that the action was held in a “good-natured” atmosphere, but there were also several brawls. Some protesters entered the Société générale branch and made a mess there.

On Tuesday, French trade unions have announced that there will be a general strike demanding higher wages and in defense of the right to protest. Problems are expected in the work of public transport, education and healthcare systems. The unions have announced that next week “we are in for something that hasn’t been seen in a long time.”

The protests are escalating tensions in a country beset by strikes that are affecting fuel supplies. For three weeks, workers in oil refineries and fuel depots have been on strike across the country. This causes dissatisfaction among drivers who make great efforts to find fuel even in the French capital.

The situation in France has been very tense for several days, the agency notes. dpa. More than a two-week strike by refinery workers demanding higher wages is leading to ever-greater fuel shortages. At some gas stations, its price reaches three euros per liter. Authorities fear the situation could trigger demonstrations similar to the 2018 and 2019 Yellow Vest protests, which were fueled in part by increases in fuel taxes. They call the protest movement “unacceptable” and “illegal” after unions and companies reached a preliminary agreement. The workers vowed to continue the strike.

What is happening is regarded as the first large-scale test for the second presidential term of Emmanuel Macron. He promised to continue some of his ambitious reforms, including a major overhaul of the pension system. French citizens, workers, trade union leaders and members of the Macron government are preparing for very difficult days, weeks, and possibly months…


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