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Passengers across the United Kingdom are facing disruptions due to ongoing rail strikes coinciding with the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.

The strikes, led by train drivers demanding higher pay, have forced commuters and travelers to seek alternative transportation methods.

CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio reported from Liverpool, where the 67th annual Eurovision Song Contest is being held.

Inocencio highlighted the impact of the strikes, stating that he had driven from London, a journey that took four and a half hours instead of the usual two-hour train ride.

The train drivers’ union is demanding an 8% pay raise, citing stagnant wages since 2019 and the negative effects of inflation.

Inflation in the UK is currently at 10.1%, the highest in 40 years.

The rising cost of living is also reflected in soaring food prices, which are at their highest point in 45 years.

In response to inflationary pressures, the Bank of England recently raised interest rates to 4.5%, the highest level since 2008.

There are speculations that the bank may consider another rate hike to 5% in the next meeting.

Despite the challenges posed by the strikes and economic concerns, Liverpool is hoping to capitalize on hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.

The event attracts a massive global audience, with approximately 180 million viewers last year.

The city expects a substantial economic boost, estimating that it brought in £100 million ($110 million) through expenditures on accommodations, food, alcohol, and other related services.

The grand finale of the contest is scheduled for Saturday evening, and Liverpool anticipates a vibrant song and dance celebration.

However, there remain concerns about the potential impact of the strikes and economic circumstances on the overall success of the event.

As the strikes continue and inflation remains a pressing issue, the UK faces the challenge of balancing economic stability and meeting the demands of various industries and unions.

The disruption to rail services adds another layer of complexity, particularly during a major international event like the Eurovision Song Contest.

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