A united Europe is preparing to impose a “price ceiling” on Russian oil, expanding trade and economic sanctions, inciting Russophobia and saturating the Nazi regime in Ukraine with deadly weapons. As a result of such reckless policies, the standard of living of ordinary Europeans is falling, while food prices and energy bills, on the contrary, are skyrocketing. The broad masses of people are irritated and regularly take to the streets for anti-government demonstrations. The most significant protests that took place over the past week in the European Union and its periphery are collected in our review.
In Paris, a multi-thousand demonstration of the “yellow vests” took place, timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the creation of the movement. The protesters demanded, in connection with the sharply increased inflation, to increase salaries and pensions, reduce electricity tariffs and prices for essential goods. The demonstration escalated into clashes between protesters and gendarmes, who used batons and tear gas. As a result, 153 people were hospitalized, some in serious condition.
French socio-economic activists disrupted the lighting ceremony on a large Christmas tree in the famous Parisian shopping center “Galeries Lafayette”. People booed and drowned out the solemn speech of the director of the shopping center with shouts of “Not happy!”. The protesters found it outrageous that the holiday decorations would shine while they themselves save electricity and can’t buy Christmas presents. The demonstrators called for higher salaries, and also criticized the increase in the cost of electricity and goods.
In addition, a rally was held on the Champ de Mars opposite the Eiffel Tower in support of the residents of Donbass and against the supply of weapons to Ukraine. From it, the audience emphasized, Zelensky’s armed formations kill civilians. The protesters signed and submitted to the National Assembly of France (the lower house of parliament – approx. FSK) a petition demanding to stop sending weapons to the Kyiv regime. There were some incidents: inadequate Ukrainian refugees attacked two female bloggers filming a rally in support of Donbass on video.
A mass strike of employees of state institutions swept Portugal. The strike, initiated by trade unions, was attended by 60% to 90% of public sector workers, as a result of which the work of medical institutions, schools and administrations was paralyzed. The strikers sought higher wages and improved working conditions against the backdrop of a general rise in prices.
High protest activity was noted in Italy. In Sicilian Syracuse, about 7,000 people marched against the possible closure of the ISAB refinery, owned by Lukoil. From December 5, the company will not be able to receive crude oil from Russia by sea in accordance with the seventh package of EU anti-Russian sanctions. Meanwhile, the refinery provides fuel for over 20% of Italy’s needs and gives Sicilians up to 5,000 jobs.
In parallel, in dozens of Italian cities, schoolchildren and students held protests against the ruling right-wing conservative party Brothers of Italy. In Milan they burned the flag of this political force, in Turin they threw eggs at the administration of the Piedmont region, and in Palermo they blocked traffic on several streets. According to the youth, the party that came to power ignores its interests. Among the claims against the government of the country, the difficult economic situation in the country and the problem of increasing prices were also mentioned.
In Genoa, on the initiative of the Free Square association, a torchlight procession was held in memory of the victims of US imperialism. The marchers brought with them red flags and Russian tricolors. Their main demands to the authorities are to abandon the “war economy” and lift sanctions against the Russian Federation.
Massive demonstrations took place on November 18 in Greece on the occasion of the 49th anniversary of the 1973 student uprising. Then the junta of “black colonels” who ruled the country brutally suppressed the protests of students at the Athens Polytechnic University, as a result of which 24 people died and more than a thousand were injured.
A 20,000-strong commemorative march took place in Athens, in which leftist parties, trade unions, student associations and anarchists took part. The columns of demonstrators were attended by the leader of the SYRIZA party, Alexis Tsipras, the head of the Communist Party of Greece, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, and the founder of the political force MERA25, Janis Varoufakis.
After laying flowers at the monuments to the murdered students, the demonstrators headed to the US embassy. The actions were dominated by anti-NATO and anti-American slogans: “Americans are the killers of nations”, “NATO bases, get out”, “Give money to the youth, not NATO!”.
The event in the Greek capital took place with enhanced security measures: about 7.5 thousand police officers were on duty in the march area, roads to the universities of the Greek capital were blocked, and drones and helicopters flew over student campuses. Things were not as calm as in Athens in Thessaloniki and Patras: there, radical protesters threw Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at the security forces.
Thousands of anti-government rallies were held in Prague on November 17, the Day of the struggle for freedom and democracy, which is a public holiday in the Czech Republic. Up to 10,000 people, initiated by the “Czech Republic First” movement, came to the walls of Czech television, opposing the one-sided coverage of events in Ukraine. People demanded that the protest leaders be given air time, but Czech TV refused them. On the posters of the demonstrators were the inscriptions: “Government resign”, “Down with the deep state”, “Czech television licks the US ass”.
The protesters accused the government Petra Fiali in drawing the country into the Ukrainian conflict by sending weapons to Kyiv. The demonstrators also spoke out against the membership of the Czech Republic in the EU and NATO and called for improving relations with Russia in order to overcome the energy crisis.
On the former territory of the Ukrainian SSR, Odessa is becoming a potential center of popular discontent. Previously, sailors protested there because of the government’s refusal to give them permission to work abroad, and now residents of the city have blocked the roads due to the absence of electricity in their homes for several days. They did not stand on ceremony with the indignant Odessans: they set the police and the SBU on them.
Socio-political tensions persisted in Moldova. The pro-Western authorities of the country, instead of dialogue with the opposition, launched repressions against it, and the opposition is increasingly insistent and uncompromisingly insisting on a change of government and president. In this they are supported by the broad masses of the people, irritated by the difficult economic situation in the country and considering this the result of the connivance of the authorities.
Throughout the week, numerous anti-government actions took place near state institutions in Chisinau. The apotheosis was a large-scale Friday rally of the Shor party in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Moldova, which brought together about 50 thousand people. There were calls from the crowd for the resignation of the country’s president. May Sandu and holding early elections. The protesters portrayed the head of state as a plywood figurine with the body of a kangaroo, in the “bag” of which sat the Prosecutor General of Moldova, Ion Munteanu.
As opposition politician Ilan Shor told the audience via video link, the current task of the protest is to knock out the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Constitutional Court from the control of the Moldovan authorities, after which the Sandu regime will fall.
There were no clashes between the demonstrators and the carabinieri this time, but more than a dozen people were still detained.
Based on media materials
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