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

The people of Vienna took to the streets to protest.

The people of Vienna took to the streets to protest.

A photo: REUTERS


Thousands of people took to the streets of Brussels protesting against the skyrocketing prices of electricity, gas and groceries. According to trade union organizations and the police, about 10,000 people took part in the action. Public transport was suspended for the duration of 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 prices, not people”. All of them require 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 utility bill while saving electricity and water.


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

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

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


At the end of last week, a demonstration was held in Hannover, Germany, which brought together a hundred bakers. They opposed rising electricity prices out of fear that they could lose their business by not being able to pay increased utility bills.

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


Over the weekend, mass demonstrations took place in Austria against the ineffective actions of the government in an attempt to confront the crisis in the cost of living. The organizers were the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions, the Youth Front, the Communist Party of Austria and the Austrian Labor Party. Protests were held in all major cities, including Vienna, Eisenstadt, Bruck an der Mur, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Bregenz. According to the organizers, more than 30,000 people across the country took part in the demonstrations, and in Vienna alone, about 20,000 activists took to the streets.


In the Italian region of Veneto, local businessmen took to the protests. They opposed energy companies raising electricity prices. They defiantly tore up bills, declaring that they were refusing 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 received the name “strike bills”, the protesters hope that very soon they will be supported in all regions of Italy. After the increase in electricity prices, Italians will have to pay approximately 3,500 euros per year for gas and electricity.

Iran engulfed in protests over the death of a girl in police

In Iran, for the fifth day now, protests have been held, which began after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. A woman was arrested by the vice police for wearing a hijab improperly. According to human rights activists, Amini received a serious blow to the head from law enforcement officers, which caused her death. However, an official investigation refutes this.

During the rallies, 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 being circulated 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 during the dispersal of demonstrations, six people were killed.

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