FIRST of all the French electorate gave the right wing Sarkozy regime a bloody nose, and now yesterday’s general strike by the public sector workers has signalled that the French working class is going to bring it down.
This means that the developing workers’ revolution in Europe which began in Greece, is now spreading to the UK and France, and the rest of Europe.
The regional elections have seemed to raise the stinking corpse of French social democracy back to life, a miracle in itself, with them winning 25 out of 26 regions, but French social democracy is completely unable to resolve the crisis of French capitalism.
This crisis will be resolved through the class struggle, on the streets, and through the working class taking power after putting an end to the Fifth Republic, to go forward to a workers’ republic and socialism.
Meanwhile the bourgeois media is full of the comeback of the bankrupt Socialist Party, and its prospects for the 2012 French presidential election.
There were cheers from the Socialist Party headquarters when, with 93 per cent of the ballots counted, the Socialists and their allies had won 53.8 per cent of the vote nationwide, while Sarkozy’s UMP party had 34.97 per cent, just managing to hang onto Alsace.
Sarkozy has rapidly come to grief as his plans to close schools, slash education and health, raise the retirement age and privatise the public sector have been received with hatred and hostility by the masses, who haven’t the slightest intention of paying the price for the crisis of the capitalist system.
Prime Minister Francois Fillon blamed the ‘recession’ for his party’s bad showing. He however warned that France can no longer finance its ‘generous social benefits’ without severe cost-cutting. He said that the ‘reforms’ must continue.
He uttered what could be his political last words: ‘We do not govern a great country like France according to the rhythm of local elections.’
The Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry in her comments about the election made no pledges to end the ‘reforms’. She said: ‘ The French have spoken, they must be listened to,’ adding ‘We take this victory with responsibility.’
She knows that the Socialists will have to dispense the same nasty medicine as Sarkozy if French capitalism is to survive.
The Socialists were allied to left parties, especially with Europe Ecologie, a grouping of green parties enjoying a passing popularity amid voters’ concerns about global warming and other environmental issues.
Yesterday’s nationwide strike showed some of the big battalions of the working class moving into action, with the transport system and ports disabled and closed down for the day.
All sections of workers across France are angry over layoffs, the three million unemployed, the budget deficit, and worried that pension cutting plans, including raising the pensionable age, will put an end to their retirement plans.
Yesterday’s action saw train services in France severely hit.
The schools were also closed, and demonstrations took place in around 200 French towns and cities.
All of France’s major unions took part in the national day of protest against job cuts and plans for pension reform, and they all pledged further and bigger actions.
Throughout Europe – from Greece to Ireland, to Italy, the UK, France and Spain – the working class is on the march.
The crisis of capitalism is going to intensify, as will the class struggle, to decide which class is going to pay for the capitalist crisis.
Now is the time to build sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International all over Europe.
Its job will be to provide the leadership for the European socialist revolution that is developing, which must replace the bankers and bosses European Union, which is sinking fast as the capitalist crisis intensifies, with the Socialist United States of Europe.