EU crisis deepens in London and Athens

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THE great EU referendum crisis in the UK has sharpened after PM Cameron denied his earlier remarks that after he had negotiated a deal with the EU as a basis for a referendum, his cabinet members would have to campaign to support it with a ‘yes’ vote or resign.

A revolt by up to 100 Tory MPs brought the PM to his political knees in hours, as he pleaded that his comments ‘were misinterpreted’ and that he had been calling for backing during the negotiations. This humiliating retreat is obvious nonsense since, if cabinet members were opposed to him even negotiating with the EU over the changes that the Tories want, notice would have been served that a month after the general election his time as Tory Premier was already up.

As it is, his humiliating change of position has, at the most, achieved a few months of respite while the negotiations get underway. He will then have to decide whether to sack members of his cabinet who refuse to vote ‘yes’ in the EU referendum and openly split the Tory Party, or risk losing the referendum vote as a ‘weak leader’.

The crisis of the Tory Party is irreparable and reflects the historical crisis of British imperialism, which can never recover from its loss of empire. Its two-party system has now collapsed and there are doubts even that the ruling class can maintain the unity of the UK.

The nation is now ruled over by crooked banks, backed by a state apparatus full of spies, with the two-party system disintegrating and the Welfare State being smashed and privatised for the benefit of those same banks. The particular crisis of British imperialism is just part of the current world crisis.

This crisis has seen the EU – established as the means to unite and strengthen European capitalism – run by an unelected European Commission and European Central Bank – sink into an ocean of debt, from Athens to Dublin, from the Med to the Atlantic. The main body of the British bourgeoisie has now decided that it is so weak that it cannot survive if it quits the sinking ship of the EU. It is determined to remain on it come what may.

Cameron’s humiliations come just days after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected a new set of savage austerity measures put forward by EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker. The EU and IMF want further cuts and austerity measures before they release 7.8bn euros (£5.3bn) of bailout funds for bankrupted Greece.

In the new offer Athens has agreed to increase VAT, and to run a primary surplus of 0.6% of GDP this year and 1% next year. Another proposal being put forward is to increase pensioner contributions to healthcare from 4% of their monthly income to 6%. Greece already has 26% unemployment and 45% youth unemployment.

Tsipras warned earlier on Tuesday that a failure to reach a deal on Greece’s bailout, which expires at the end of the month, would be the beginning of the end for the eurozone. He is due to meet Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande on the sidelines of an EU-Latin America summit in Brussels today.

In an interview with Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, published on Tuesday, Tsipras said, ‘I think that is evident. It would be the beginning of the end for the eurozone’, if Greece defaults on its debts. If Greece fails, the markets will immediately go to look for the next one. If negotiations fail, the cost for European taxpayers would be enormous,’ he said.

He added: ‘If European leaders can’t resolve a problem like Greece, which represents two per cent of their economy, what will be the reaction of the markets for countries facing much bigger problems, like Spain or Italy which has a public debt of more than two trillion euros?’

This is the sinking ship that the Tory Party and Labour Party are desperate to remain aboard, and insist that they cannot survive without doing so! The only solution to the capitalist crisis of the EU is for the working class of the EU to overthrow the European Union with socialist revolutions and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe. This will expropriate the bosses and bankers and bring in a socialist planned economy throughout Europe to satisfy the needs of the people. This is the way forward.