|The News Line: Editorial
Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Working class erupts throughout the EU – Forward to the Socialist United States of Europe!
THE CRISIS-RIDDEN EU is exploding as workers from the UK, France, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Catalonia rise up against the open dictatorship of the bosses and bankers of Europe and demand their rights and socialism.
The French ‘Yellow Vests’ movement has grown stronger through its resistance to the hammer blows that the French terrorist state and its riot police have sought to impose on it, while President Macron has gone from being the ‘emperor’ to being an out-of-sight fugitive from mass justice.`
Last Friday the ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters wrote an open letter to Macron in response to his New Year’s speech. They wrote: ‘Anger will turn into hatred if you – you and your supporters – continue to look from your pedestal on the ordinary people as beggars.’ It demanded the right to hold ‘citizens’ initiative referendums’ that would overrule parliamentary votes.`
Last Saturday in Paris workers fought riot police, and as government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux explained: ‘Some Yellow Vest protesters and other people dressed in black ... got hold of a construction vehicle which was in the street nearby and smashed open the entrance gate to the Ministry of the Interior.’
The French working class and its youth, pauperised by the EU, are determined to bring down Macron and to carry out a socialist revolution! The Yellow Vests movement has spread into Belgium and Holland and is now set to erupt in Germany – the heartland of the EU bankers.
Sahra Wagenknecht, founder of the Aufstehen (Get Up) group uniting Germany’s left-wing movements, has warned that the organisation’s members will take to the streets in 2019, in a move that she said was inspired by the Yellow Vests protests in France.
‘We have big plans … not least because we recognise when people go onto the streets to protest – especially those who have not had a political voice for many years who rediscover their voice by protesting – then political change can happen. This is what we’re seeing in France right now,’ she told reporters in Berlin.
She added: ‘I’m clear that we don’t want any violence, but at the same time you have to recognise that it is a clear expression of pent-up anger. It doesn’t just come out of nowhere.’ She added that increasing inequality in Germany and people’s anger over the government’s failure to resolve the matter, will prove to be a major motivating force which pushes ordinary Germans to take to the streets.
Meanwhile in Hungary, the trade unions last Saturday announced that they would call a general strike to halt a government plan to raise workers’ allowable overtime from 250 to 400 hours a year, plus the ‘relaxation’ of other labour rules.
The government says labour flexibility is needed to satisfy investors’ needs and is in harmony with EU regulations, like those of the German car companies whose factories help drive Hungary’s economic growth.
Union leaders said that the ‘slave law’ proposals reflect the intention of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government to boost companies’ profits at workers’ expense.
Laszlo Kordas, head of the Hungarian Trade Union Confederation, told several thousand protesters that Hungarians are working ‘for Europe’s lowest wages’.
Besides the increase in allowable overtime hours, which is the equivalent of adding a full day to the working week, unions are also objecting to the extension to three years from one year of the period employers get to settle the payment of accrued overtime. Also controversial is a proposal allowing employers to agree overtime arrangements directly with individual workers – thereby bypassing the unions and the collective bargaining agreements.
Meanwhile in Britain, several hundred MPs from all parties are planning a parliamentary coup to prevent the government from collecting taxes and performing other financial activities. Labour MP Yvette Cooper, a senior opposition Labour Party member, has tabled one of the amendments which would prevent the Treasury, the UK government’s main finance and economic arm, from going ahead with no-deal Brexit plans without the consent of the House of Commons.
There is no doubt that UK workers will not accept a House of Commons anti-Brexit diktat and will take to the streets to stop it. Revolution is rearing its head all over the EU as the capitalist crisis deepens. Now is the time to build sections of the Fourth International all over Europe to smash the EU and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe.
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