Over 20,000 rail workers from across Europe march in Paris against EU rail directives
Trade unionists from across Europe took part in an international protest against European Union diktats demanding the break up and privatisation of rail networks in all member states.
"We have experienced now in Britain full-scale privatisation of railways -- infrastructure, trains and maintenance -- with disastrous results for safety and the quality of service to the public," said Alex Gordon, of Britain's National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.
"We're here to tell the peoples of France and Germany and other European countries that are now being threatened with these same policies: don't make the same mistake that the British made," he said.
The head of the French CGT union, Bernard Thibault, said the crisis had shown the limits of the markets.
"We have a president of the republic who said a few days ago we have to draw the lessons from the global financial crisis and that not everything can be run according to the rules of the market. That's certainly true of public transport," he said. As well as delegations from Belgium, Germany, Austria, Britain, Hungary, Norway, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg and Italy, six French rail unions took part in the march.