EU Cost of Living Protests Grow Stronger by Each Passing Day
The Russo-Ukrainian conflict appears to be nowhere near to a close, which now has many commentators worrying about the economic implications of this conflict.
Europe in particular is being hit hard by the energy shock this conflict has created. In addition, the energy sanctions the European Union has pursued against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine are blowing up in these countries’ faces.
Demonstrators are now taking to the streets to rail against rising energy costs. For example, in the United Kingdom, several thousand nurses will be going on strike next month where they will be demanding improved pay as the UK experiences a major cost of living crisis per a Press TV report.
The Royal College of Nursing is organizing this strike that’s set to be held in the middle of December. According to RCN union representatives, nurses’ salaries have fallen by 20% in real terms over the past decade.
Earlier this month, Greek workers held a day-long general strike in cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki. Clashes kicked off between Greek demonstrators and security forces.In France, Metro workers organized a day-long strike, which caused major delays for millions of commuters. Other unions recently carried out strikes in diverse sectors where they sought pay raises as the country continues to be hit hard by rising energy costs and rampant inflation.
Per International Monetary Fund projections, Europe’s advanced economies (even industrial powerhouse Germany) will only grow by 0.6% in 2023. On top of that, the IMF cautions that over half of eurozone countries will experience recession this winter.
The EU has been coping with rising inflation over the last year, with inflation jumping to a historic high of 10.7% in October.
If Europe doesn’t reverse course with its sanctions policy and adopt more commonsense energy policies i.e deregulation, the Old Continent could potentially experience an unprecedented reduction in living standards. This is what happens when countries concoct the nasty cocktail of geopolitical buffoonery and economic self-flagellation.