"Up to now the government has announced 5 packages, and they have not solved the problems of the poor. The sixth is on its way, well, we will announce the 7th package,” says the 7th Package Initiative, which is calling for a series of protests, starting on Tuesday, 14 April.
At 7 pm on Tuesday, seven people will gather at the tramway stop in Taksim Square and hold a one-minute silent protest.
The intiative is hoping that two days after that, on Thursday, the group will have grown to 77 people.
“On Saturday, 18 April, let us be 777 people and say ‘Let 7 be the last one, let 7 be the last one,” so the initiative.
On 23 April, the protests will spread around the country and continue until May Day.
Members of the initiative are individuals who define themselves as victims of the economic crisis. In the “7th package” they demand 7 things from the government and local authorities:
- Value Added Tax (VAT) should not be charged for medication and basic food goods, and there should be no price increases in these goods. Taxes, fixed charges and fund cuts on electricity, water, natural gas, telephone and Internet bills should be abolished.
- Credit card debt interest should be erased, and the remaining debts should be repaid with a 2-year pay plan.
- The minimum wage (gross income 666 TL a month) should be doubled and not be taxed.
- Dismissals should be forbidden, work hours should be shortened without any cuts in wages.
- All unemployed people should be given an “unemployment card”, which would provide them with a 50 percent decrease in electricity, water, natural gas, telephone and Internet bills and free-of-charge public transport. Unemployment benefits should be raised and more people should be able to benefit from them.
- People under the poverty line who are living in rented accommodation should be offered rent support. Urban transformation programmes should be stopped.
- Starting with the poorest, a “citizenship income” should be paid immediately. This income should be a quarter of the minimum wage for single persons and gradually increased for families.
The initiative is starting a signature campaign which it will present to parliament. (EZÖ/AG)
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