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  • Workers March in Europe for May Day

    | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 May 2018

Workers across Europe rallied on Tuesday for the International Labor Day.

Across France, around 143,000 people took part in labor marches on Tuesday, according to government estimates, up slightly on 2017. 

Trade unions and students' unions have been rallying the French against Macron's attempted privatization of state rail operator SNCF and access to public universities, which they see as part of a rollback of France's public service.

Nearly 300 protesters were arrested after May Day riots in central Paris, where a small group of hooded youths torched a McDonald's restaurant and several vehicles at some point of the march.

In neighboring Spain, thousands marched across Madrid to demand better jobs and pension. Waving red union flags and chanting "general strike" the protesters walked by Madrid's town hall and the Spanish central bank before reaching Sol square in the centre on the Spanish capital.

Protesters also waved purple flags in support of the feminist movement which has been protesting following a ruling that cleared five men of the gang rape of a teenager at San Fermin bull-running festival two years ago.

Several thousand people rallied in the Maltese capital Valletta on Tuesday in a show of support for the government, which is facing judicial inquiries into alleged corruption and European Union questions over the rule of law.

The rally, organized by Malta's Labour Party to mark Workers' Day, took place two days after demonstrators marched through Valletta chanting anti-government slogans and calling for justice after the killing of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Organizers said about 20,000 people took part in the rally. The Mediterranean island is the smallest state of the European Union, with a population of 430,000.

Over 100,000 Russian labor unions members marched through Moscow's Red Square to celebrate International Workers Day.

People of all ages with flags, balloons and placards gathered in the center of Moscow to take part in the march along the Kremlin walls while thousands of Russian Communist party supporters held a separate march in Moscow city center.

In Turkey, thousands of workers rallied in Istanbul, as the city's iconic Taksim square remained closed to demonstrators.

Security was tight across Turkey's biggest city, with more than 20,000 members of the security forces deployed to deal with May Day celebrations, according to the Istanbul governor's office. Police said 60 protesters were detained as they tried to defy a ban and march to Taksim square to celebrate May Day.

Taksim square was home to May Day celebrations until 1977, when dozens of people were killed during demonstrations, dubbed the 'bloody May Day'. The square was reopened for celebrations in the late 2000s but was shut again in 2013.


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