OH HOW the mighty have fallen! ‘Emperor Macron’, in the tradition of Napoleon III, has made no secret that he considers himself the master of France and that the masses will either have to dance to his tune or not at all.
His foreign policy was an extension of this perspective. He announced that he was in favour of a European army and a new Europe, controlled by France and Germany, that would stand up to both the USA and Russia, and be a world class imperialist power.
‘Emperor’ Macron was set to bring in a ‘New Europe’ based on a new France where the working class and the middle class, whose living standards have been slashed, would do as they were told or be subject to the less than tender mercies of the armed riot police the CRS.
On his return from the G20, the world was told that he would be consulting with the military to intervene against the ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters and their mass of supporters, declaring a state of emergency so that ‘all of the criminals could be dealt with’.
The French working class, middle class and youth were not intimidated and took to the streets with even greater vigour, clashing violently with the French riot police to force Macron back.
Protest leaders that agreed to meet with the Prime Minister were warned off by the masses, and PM Edouard Phillipe, instead of declaring war, was forced to embrace public humiliation. Instead of calling out the military and setting them on the mass demonstrations, he was forced to announce that the next round of fuel price increases are to be postponed for six months, as well as the hikes in electricity and gas prices and the strict vehicle emissions controls.
He stated: ‘The main role of the state is to guarantee public order but we must fight against anything that endangers the unity of the nation.’ He added that any future demonstrations should be declared officially and carried out peacefully. However, the mass movement of the middle classes, workers and youth that has exploded onto the streets behind the rural ‘Yellow Vests’, who have seen the price of diesel, the most commonly used fuel in French cars, rise by around 23% over the past 12 months to an average of £1.32 per litre, has only just begun!
It is a very angry movement, made up of the rural middle class who have been pauperised, the working class whose living standards have been slashed, and the masses of the youth who face huge youth unemployment and who have been angered by haughty Macron’s taunts that they should get a job.
This movement will now have had its appetite whetted, and will move forward to bring down the Macron regime. They do not want the fuel rises postponed, they want to see them abolished and price reductions imposed. The workers and youth want jobs at decent wages not slave labour rates. This Macron cannot do.
The movement of the French working class and middle class will also be intensified by the growing economic and political crisis of the EU. The French and German banks are heavily involved in the debt-ridden Italian banks at a time when the Italian state is crashing into bankruptcy.
The Italian government debt is already over 132% of the country’s GDP (the total wealth created), more than double the limit of 60% insisted upon by the EU. Italy’s sovereign debt stands at well over two trillion euros. Big French banks own tens of billions of Italian sovereign debt with the largest, BNP Paribas, having over £8.7bn, followed by BPCE with 8.5bn euros and Crédit Agricole 7.6bn euros. German, Dutch and Spanish banks are also up to their necks in Italy’s sovereign debt.
The EU’s banks are going bust. The French mass revolutionary protests have therefore just begun. British workers have already put their Brexit timebomb under the UK bourgeoisie, and the Italian workers are angry and defiant.
What is developing is the European socialist revolution, where the working class of Europe smashes the EU and expropriates its bosses and bankers to bring in the Socialist United States of Europe! The French, British, Italian, German and Greek workers will run a socialist Europe, as part of the World Socialist Revolution.