OPEN DISCUSSION: CRISIS AND THE EUROPEAN UNION, Saturday 29th March, 15.00, Goldsmiths University LondonPosted: March 17, 2014
In light of the upcoming European Parliament elections, it is worth taking a step back and asking ourselves: ‘What is the EU, what role has it played in the current crisis, what role does it play in general and whose interests does it serve’?
We believe that the EU has, from its foundation, been a reactionary project in the interest of capital. It was a response of the European economic élites to the claim for competitiveness against other major capitalist centres, a way of imposing deeper labour austerity and strengthening against the labour movement across the continent and finally a means to impose the political and economic grip of the core capitalist states such as Germany or France upon the weaker states of the European periphery, a process accelerated subsequently with the formation of the Eurozone.
The adjustment program imposed on Greece in the course of the last four years, leading to more than 1.5 million people to unemployment, the total abolishment of the concept of labour rights, the slashing of pensions and salaries by 40%-50%, the conversion of the whole country into a ‘Special Economic Zone’ of exploitation has without doubt revealed the true ‘nature’ of European integration. Let’s not forget that two out of the three members of the Troika mechanism, which together with the Greek governments have caused all this misery, represent core EU institutions, such as the European Commission and the European Central bank, lacking any democratic legitimacy what so ever. Greece is no special case here. Similar ‘restructuring’ programs have been implemented under the supervision and guidance of Brussels to almost the entire European periphery, making increasingly evident how hostile European Treaties are to the actual interests of the people.
Moreover, the worst is yet to come, as according to its own announcements the EUs’ priorities are:
- The strengthening of the competitiveness of the EU multinationals with the aim of salary adjustments to the level of its main competitors (ie China, India, Brazil etc) and the sign up of a free trade agreement with the United States.
- The strengthening of “financial and banking integration” which means draconian measures of enforcement of savage austerity, the dismantlement of public goods across Europe and a cruel guardianship of their enforcement by the EU.
- The “strengthening of the defence policy”, ie the further militarisation of the EU and more imperialist interventions.
- The strengthening of the anti-immigrant and racist hysteria through strengthening of Frontex type mechanisms which will bring new ‘Lampendusas’ and the reinforcement of racism and fascism.
Having said that, it seems to us to be the case that the only solution in the interest of the European workers, unemployed and youth is therefore the fight against the eurozone and the EU as formations in the interest of capital. Not from a nationalistic point of view, but on the basis of a different, internationalist, framework for cooperation and solidarity between the peoples of Europe, in their own interest not in the interest of capital. It is in this context that we have organised this public event aiming to contribute to the relevant discussion, by examining the ‘nature’ of the European capitalist integration and the political strategies that the left and the labour movement must develop in order to respond.
Discussion-event ‘Crisis and the European Union’:
Callinicos Alex, Central Committee of Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Sotiris Panagiotis, Central Committee of ANTARSYA
Vassalos Yiorgos, Member of ANTARSYA
Saturday 29th March, 15.00, Goldsmiths University: New Academic Building, NAB LG01, London
Interventions in the speech of Adonis Georgiadis (Minister of Health of the Greek Government) in London No2Posted: March 16, 2014
Interventions in the speech of Adonis Georgiadis (Minister of Health of the Greek Government) in London No1Posted: March 16, 2014
Against imperialist interventions – Against the EU-IMF pillaging through Memoranda of Understanding
ANTARSYA addresses a message of solidarity to the Ukrainian people who are going through difficult times.
The government change brought about in a coup-d’état manner that came after a political conflict with hundreds killed and thousands wounded in Kiev, is the result of a relentless conflict between groups torn by the economic and political oligarchy that has been ransacking the country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The root causes of the crisis and conflicts can be found in decades of poverty, along with the attack on social rights and democratic freedoms by the Yanukovych government.
At this juncture, we are witnessing a clash between, the nationalist armed militias with a fascist ideology and Nazi origins, on one hand, who are supported and equipped by the EU and the US and, on the other hand, the state repressive forces of Yanukovych’s authoritarian regime supported by Russia.
The people of Ukraine find themselves in straitjacket in two imperialisms; That of Russia wanting to preserve by any means its political and economic dominance in the region and that of the EU, with Germany and the U.S. in the leading role, which through the connection with the EU and NATO attempts the annexation of territories, states and economies in the chariot of the European and American capital respectively.
The first coup organized by the EU, spearheaded and led by the fascist extreme right and neo-Nazis forces the masks to drop and proves that the EU not only does not guarantee democracy in Europe, but spearheads its undermining.
The first indications from the new Ukrainian regime, as well as the EU/US position point to an attempt at chaining the country in the shackles NATO, IMF and EU-imposed Memoranda, along with attacking the democratic and social rights of the Ukrainian people. “Europeanization” and “reforms” will be nothing more than a new ransacking of Ukraine’s natural resources and wealth that will only benefit local oligarchs, and US and EU capital. This development makes possible the very explosion of civil war, and the division and dissolution of the country.
ANTARSYA denounces the reactionary manipulation to outlaw Ukraine’s Communist Party by the EU- and US-supported government. ANTARSYA stands alongside struggling forces, leftists, communists and anti-fascists, who, in difficult circumstances, are trying with toil and selflessness, to bring to the forefront of the battle taking place in the streets, the real problems of the Ukrainian people.
Hope lies in the struggle against fascism, against the civil war, imperialist intervention and capitalist ransacking.