Protesting against ongoing efforts to further carve up Europe's railways for private profit, GUE/NGL MEPs today joined thousands of demonstrators outside the European Parliament to call for a rejection of the 4th railway package.
“The Commission is clearly pursuing further liberalisation with this package,” says German MEP Sabine Wils. “These proposals run counter to the interests of users in terms of cost, safety and accessibility, and will further worsen working conditions for rail workers.”
“What were the consequences of the previous railway packages? Transported tonnage was halved, ticket prices rocketed, companies no longer had access to rail, regional transport costs became exorbitant and work on safety was constantly being put off. The fourth railway package will take us even further into error. The Commission insists on the principle of free and undistorted competition and the member states' only concern is to increase their railway companies' profits, in violation of the rights and safety of workers as well as of users,” said French MEP Jacky Hénin.
“While I think the technical reports included in this dossier should go through, the political pillar is inacceptable,” said Jaromír Kohlíček. “It's sad that we have to keep fighting attempts to destroy this key sector. Today's demonstration was about countering the threat posed by these proposals to workers' livelihoods as well as to public services. Our group, together with trade unions and the Association of the European Rail Industry, are against such negative developments.”
Photos of the demonstration are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/guengl/sets/72157641510193373/
The package will be voted tomorrow, Wednesday.