Tuesday afternoon traffic problems


 Luc Deflorenne (archives)

European unions' protest: the arrival in Luxembourg of between 15,000 and 20,000 European trade unionists on Tuesday is expected to cause traffic problems in the capital city.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has called for the demonstration to protest against austerity measures and the so-called Euro Plus Pact.

The mass demonstration march from the station to the place de la Constitution via the Avenue de la Liberté, Pont Adolphe and boulevard Roosevelt Boulevard has forced the authorities to close those roads to traffic as of 2 p.m on June 21. Parking along the boulevard Roosevelt and at the place de la Constitution will be forbidden all day. To exasperate the problems, the construction of the official tribune for the National Day parade will also close the stretch of avenue de la Liberté between the place de Metz and the rue Dicks until 5 a.m. on June 22.

Serious implications

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) says the demonstration is intended to show opposition to the decisions concerning economic governance and the Euro Plus Pact on the agenda of a European Council meeting planned for June 24. “The implications on pay, social security and the collective bargaining structure are serious,” says the ETUC. Luxembourg union groupings, the OGB-L and the LCGB will join the protest.

Union leaders will meet with Jean-Claude Juncker in the morning as they try to convince European governments to reconsider recommendations included in the Pact that they fear will create pressure on public sector pay and, in some cases, on minimum wages, that could also have consequences for the private sector. Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the ETUC says the level of unemployment in Europe is “totally unacceptable” and that current European economic governance is “unfair, dangerous and bound to fail.” She cites the demonstrations in Spain and Greece and blames the financial sector for playing what she calls “a casino game, far removed from reality.”

Tuesday’s demonstration, says Ségol, will not only underline opposition to austerity measures, but will deliver a message that the unions are in favour of “sustainable investment, for a long-standing, employment-friendly economy.”

Police spokesman Vic Reuter says he expects around 15,000 demonstrators and that the Police Grande-Ducal has been in constant cooperation with the organisers. “This is usual and normally works,” says Reuter.

Full information about the road closures can be found on the Ville de Luxembourg website: www.vdl.lu