11 December 2012

Liberia: Protest Over Nobel Prize

Around 1,000 protesters marched in Oslo yesterday against the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.

Peace and human rights campaigners and members of political groups held the torch-lit protest as various EU leaders arrived in Norway, where they will collect the award today.

The protesters argued the EU is undemocratic and maintains a large military even as it suffers an economic downturn.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is Britain's representative for the event, joining the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

The Oslo protesters argued that the EU is undemocratic and maintains a large military even as its people suffer an economic downturn.

Alfred Nobel said that the prize should be given those who worked for disarmament,' Elsa-Britt Enger, 70, a representative of Grandmothers for Peace said. 'The EU doesn't do that. It is one of the biggest weapons producers in the world.'

Protesters marched under the banner 'EU2012: No peace prize for our time'

Past prize winners Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire have also said the EU does not deserve the award and that it contradicts the values associated with the prize because it relies on military force to ensure security.

Norway's Socialist Left party, part of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's government, joined the march.

The Oslo-based Nobel peace committee gave its 2012 prize, worth £750,000, to the EU for uniting the continent following two world wars and to give it a boost as it tries to overcome its economic crisis.

'The EU brings lasting peace among former enemies who fought, among others, two world wars,' EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said yesterday.

But former Tory cabinet minister Dr Liam Fox will attack the ceremony in a speech on the EU today.

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