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Sipilä, Annamari

Helsingin Sanomat

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Helsingin Sanomat - Finland | 25/10/2010

Annamari Sipilä on Europe's culture of demonstrations

While the French demonstrate against pension reform, the Germans are on the streets in protest at the railway station project Stuttgart 21. But what makes people protest in one country will not have the same result in another, writes the Brussels correspondent Annamari Sipilä in the daily Helsingin Sanomat: "The different ways in which French and German sentiments ignite say much about today's Europe. In France people demonstrate against economic reforms and the erosion of privileges. In Germany people are up in arms against a lovely railway station from which they could go shopping in Paris. ... Attention should and must be paid to the demonstrations in Europe. They measure the people's mood, and indicate when the numerous problems engendered ... by the financial and economic crisis will erupt as a social crisis. The demonstration threshold is higher in some countries than in others. What is normal in France or Greece would be unthinkable in Finland or Germany. Society has to be on the brink of chaos for the Finns to revolt."

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