Share article:
Share article:

French MEP on hunger strike against ‘obscene’ EU budget

Credit: Pierre Larrouturou/Twitter

A French MEP went into a hunger strike on Wednesday in an unprecedented bid to denounce the “obscene” lack of funding for the climate and public health in the European Union’s long-term budget.

“It is obscene to hear that there is not enough money for health, the climate, jobs, at a time when the financial markets are in better shape than ever,” S&D MEP Pierre Larrouturou wrote on Twitter.

“To pile the pressure on [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [French President Emmanuel] Macron, I will go on hunger strike,” he added.

Related News:


The French MEP said he will remain in the European Parliament (EP) “day and night, without eating” to bring attention to what he described as a “scandalous” hollowing-out of the EU’s budget for key areas of public concern.

“People are not aware of this, but we are heading towards a situation where there will be almost no money for climate, for health, nothing serious for jobs,” he said of the bloc’s incoming 2021-2027 budget.

Beginning day one of his hunger strike on Wednesday, Larrouturou shared a photo of himself with placards similar to those brought to global school strikes by young climate campaigners, including an identical sign to the one climate activist Greta Thunberg brought to her first-ever school strike outside the Swedish parliament.

“The only solution is to raise the EU’s own resources through a real tax on financial transactions, which would make it possible to pay back the [coronavirus] recovery plan while at the same time financing health and the climate,” he said, according to the Belga news agency.

Larrouturou’s hunger strike comes as several MEP face down the EU Council in an attempt to get member states to agree to unblock €39 billion for several areas including education and research, which they say have been slashed in countries’ proposal for the 2021-2027 budget.

The MEP served as the general rapporteur for the EU’s 2021 budget is namely seeking to pressure the EU leaders to introduce a tax on financial transactions, to boost the EU’s capacity to get through the coronavirus crisis as well as keep it on track to attain health and sustainability goals.

“If we don’t tax speculation, the EU Green Deal is dead (…),” Larrouturou said announcing his hunger strike in an address to MEPS, adding that the bloc’s ambitious climate law  would be nothing more than “beautiful words” which would “lead us to a dead planet.”

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...