Thousands of rail workers from across Europe have joined forces in Paris to show their anger at EU plans to reform railway services on the continent.
Steve Todd from the UK RMT Union said: ‘‘We’re demonstrating against the break-up of rail networks across Europe and the privatisation of networks across Europe. It’s the privateers who come and make big profits and destroy the rail network in the process.’‘
French unions are particularly fearful that France’s publicly owned rail network is being put at risk for the sake of profits.
Bernard Thibault, the CGT French union leader said: ‘‘If all the EU railway unions in Paris are asking for the same thing then it’s a situation requiring urgent action from the President of the European Union, who only a few weeks ago was saying that some market activities didn’t make any sense and that a new era was coming.’‘
In a bid to increase competition in the sector, the EU aims to see all international rail lines privatised by 2010, followed by a break up of the continent’s domestic rail services.