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(en) Britain, Anarchist Federation Organise! #78 - Southern Europe - Austerity - Agony and Antagonism

Date Tue, 04 Sep 2012 16:13:31 +0300


The worldwide plan to impose new capitalist norms on the masses of people inhabiting this planet can be seen starkly in Southern Europe where three countries are profoundly affected- Greece, Portugal and Spain. The so called representatives of the people have been installed, just as they have in Italy, to impose new hardships on populations already deeply affected by cuts, inflation and poverty. The International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union are imposing these measures. - In Greece despite mass demonstrations, riots, huge strikes and occupations, the administration has
imposed a new austerity programme leading to a 22% drop in the minimum guaranteed wage, as well as cuts in pensions and the axing of jobs throughout the public sector.

The Greek parliament passed these
measures to avoid “economic chaos
and a social explosion”. A curious
comment as if they had looked out
of the windows of the Parliament
they would have seen just such a so-
cial explosion in the form of 100,000
people massing to protest these very
measures.

Meanwhile in the capital of Portugal,
Lisbon, the biggest demonstrations
in thirty years saw 300,00 people
gathering to chant “ no to exploita-
tion, no to inequality, no to impov-
erishment!”. The re-organisation of
public transport in Lisbon saw a 50%
rise in fares, leading to a mass strike
of transport workers. Again the IMF,
the ECB and the EU are imposing
measures of austerity to cut public
spending and pensions to attack
employment laws, effecting numbers
of hours allowed to be worked, and
cutting the amount of holiday time
for workers.

In Spain the government of Mariano
Rajoy and his Popular Party of the
right has instigated attacks on em-
ployment laws again imposed by the
Big Bad Three of the IMF, ECB and
EU. These will include a reduction
in redundancy payments to work-
ers, and a 3,000 euro reduction of
tax to companies employing people
below the age of thirty for the first
time, which has already proved
ineffective in France as a measure
to increase youth employment. The
reduction of redundancy payments
will mean that workers will receive
the equivalent of thirty three days’
pay rather than forty five, and even
then a reduction to twenty days if
this involves economic redundancies.
In addition the probation period for
workers starting a new job will be
increased from six to twelve months!

All over Europe and indeed the world
this seems to be the main points
in an attack on the working class-
deregulation of employment laws,
lowering of wages and salaries, and
an end to collective bargaining.

So the crisis, which is THEIR crisis,
will be paid for by us with an attack
on conditions, wages and pensions.
Everything for the exploiters and the
employers, and nothing for the ex-
ploited. A radical shift in the balance
of forces, with the rich gaining more
and the mass of the population,
workers and unemployed, receiv-
ing less. This is one of the biggest
heists carried out by the boss class
and meanwhile the trade unions
have shown their complete inability
to defend the previous gains of the
working class, bowing to the wish
lists of the employing class and their
governments. All they can offer is
worthless “days of action” which act
as safety valves for the anger of the
working class.

This only demonstrates the need to
jettison the trade unions and look to
new forms of organisation to counter
the bosses’ offensive, both in the
workplace and in the neighbour-
hood. Nothing is more pressing than
this.
_________________________________________
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