BERLIN (AFP) – Thousands of people demonstrated in Berlin on Saturday calling for food prices to be controlled and for the rich to face higher taxes as Germany faces a cost of living crisis.
Marching behind banners, one of which was emblazoned with the demand “Redistribute!”, the demonstrators marched through the German capital after a call by left-wing organisations to protest against soaring prices and rents.
Both police and organisers said at least 3,000 people took part in the protest which took place to the backdrop of rising inflation caused in part by the war in Ukraine which has hit energy and food supplies.
Other banners said the current economic order “puts profits over people’s needs”.
Inflation in Germany is at its highest level in more than 70 years and reached 10.4 per cent in October, according to figures released on Friday.
The price rises are hitting household budgets as well as industry in the eurozone’s largest economy.
The government, which is forecasting a 0.4-percentage point contraction in gross domestic product next year, has sought mitigate surging energy prices, imposing a partial cap on the price of gas and electricity that will come into force in 2023.
Most of the other mitigating measures, including subsidised rail travel, have already ended.
German economic experts last Wednesday proposed raising taxes on higher earners to help households struggling with soaring energy bills, but the suggestion was immediately shot down by the country’s finance minister.