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Europe

European Left statement: Peoples of Europe Unite!

Peoples of European Unite!

The Eurozone and the EU are today facing the most critical situation since their foundation.

And that is because it is not only the existence of the Eurozone which is being put under severe question but also the very institutional structure of the EU. The process of European unification is being transformed into an ideological and political weapon of the European capitalist classes, in their conflict with the labor classes and the rescue of the euro is being pushed forward at the expense of the majority of the people in Europe.

Recent developments in Italy show that we were accurate to say that Greece is treated like the guinea-pig of Europe. The experiment has collapsed. While Greece is witnessing a social tragedy, fiscal balance is not achieved. The crisis is now spreading across the Eurozone and beyond. Inequalities are growing on a daily basis. This experiment of ultra-austerity, the dismantling of the welfare state, the bankruptcy of society and its people must come to an immediate end.

To this structural crisis, to this systemic crisis of global capitalism, ethnocentric concepts are bound to fail.

If we fail to confront the anti-democratic offensive in Europe, then the road shall open for a new hegemony of extremist nationalist and xenophobic approaches. The neoliberal strategy of the EU has allowed nationalism, neofascism and racism to become part of the mainstream political agenda: In the case of Greece, the extreme right-wing has even become a part of the new “national salvation” government!

Under this basic principle, the European Left reaffirms its dedication to the formation of a European social and political front of resistance and alternative, which will bring the European peoples, workers, women, immigrants and youth, in the position of the determining actor, which will radically change the present balance of power.

It is high time to energize all progressive actors and coordinate our campaigns and social movements under the slogan “Peoples of Europe Unite!”. It is also high time to put pressure inside the European Parliament for a new, fundamental discussion on the question of the refoundation of Europe on a social basis, in complete confrontation to the authoritarian decision on the “Economic Governance” of 26 October, according to which a new illegitimate and non-controlled “Council of the Eurozone” is constituted.

The existing European treaties, based on monetarism and neoliberalism, like the Maastricht and the Lisbon Treaty, are already dead. It’s because of them that the peoples of Europe are today lead to the edge of social catastrophe.

The European Left has repeatedly presented proposals for preventing and overcoming the crisis on time. These proposals have been justified by recent developments.

1) We repeat our demand for an immediate cancellation of the existing austerity plans and memorandums and their replacement by a program for social development, based on public investments.

2) There is an imperative need for the organization of a European Conference for a just solution to the debt problem for all Eurozone countries. Such a solution passes through the abolition of a large part of public debts and the transfer of another part of them to the ECB.

3) There is also an urgent need for direct, low-interest loans to all countries which have been targeted by the financial markets, either through the ECB or through a special fund, which will receive loans by the ECB and then override the markets and offer these loans directly to the member-states.

4) Conservative circles and lobbies have already opened the debate for the reform of European treaties in an even stricter direction. The European Left accepts the challenge: We are fighting for a Europe of solidarity and social needs, against the Europe of markets. We will fight for a radical change of the treaties, in the direction of terminating neoliberalism and promoting the following principles:

  • The reinforcement of democracy, political unification and popular sovereignty.
  • The radical change of the role of the ECB, so that it becomes a last resort lender, able to print money.
  • The reinforcement of the European Budget, in order for it to be able to fight social and economic inequalities.
  • The annulation of the stability criteria (concerning the rates of public debt, public deficit and inflation), to allow public investment according to social criteria, like social development, employment and trade balance.

These are just some emergency policy measures, so that Europe avoids catastrophy.

However, in order to achieve viable and sustainable solutions (if we want to avoid facing consecutive crises), new political priorities must be put forward, in the framework of a radical European refoundation. Europe will either become democratic and social or will not exist!

Athens 22/11/2011

The European Left Presidium

This statement was issued following a meeting in the Hellenic Parliament in Athens hosted by the parliamentary group of SYRIZA.

http://www.european-left.org/?id=2101

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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