Strike passions are also affecting the European Parliament. The members trooped into the French city of Strasbourg on Monday for their monthly plenary session, and they will be leaving this Wednesday. France’s general strike coming up on Thursday raised concerns about transportation.
Cutting Thursday from the session came at the request of British and Polish members in the eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists group.
Enjoying a geographic advantage, this German Green MEP said:
“Frankly, it’s not a big problem. Neither is getting to Germany from Strasbourg; it’s rather problematic for our Belgian and French colleagues.”
The leader of the assembly’s Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Martin Schulz, said:
“I believe that the social tensions in Europe are rising. I fully understand the people who are striking in France and elsewhere. Given that the three biggest banks in Britain last year, 2009, the year of the crisis, made 23 billion euros and gave out nine billion euros in bonuses, and at the same time taxes on workers and employees were raised, one understands the strike.”
French workers have already protested this month against plans to raise the retirement age.
Spain is also preparing for a general strike.