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Irish protest against water privatization

"No way to pay, banks are bailed out," protesters chanted on Saturday in Dublin.

Translated Tuesday 10 February 2015, by Khalil Rahman

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in several Irish cities Saturday to protest against the end of the free water, a measure of austerity demanded by the troïka.

"No way to pay, banks are bailed out," chanted protesters Saturday in the streets of Dublin. Other slogans called for the Prime Minister Enda Kenny to resign. "It is time that the government resign. They do not have the confidence of the people," said Derek Byrne, one of the organizers of the group "Dublin Says No". The event had several thousand people in the Irish capital, according to an AFP journalist, while thousands more participated in demonstrations in other cities, including Galway on the west coast, Cork and Limerick.

The prospect of the arrival of the first water bills in April caused an outcry

Ireland is committed to ending the free water as part of the austerity measures demanded by the troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) in 2010, following the 2008 financial crisis. As the last country in the European Union where individuals do not pay directly for running water, residents will be charged for the first time in April but half of households are still not registered. The Irish hope the citizens’ movements will call for a boycott of the tax. "The protest is not only focused on the water, but was expanded to the rest: austerity, bank rescue plan, budget cuts," said Derek Byrne.

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