NEXT Sunday, France will be voting in a referendum on the proposed EU constitution, and to the astonishment of the leaders of the Gaullist parties and the Socialist Party plus the French bourgeois media, the French working class is poised to vote ‘no’ to a united capitalist Europe.
President Chirac, the Gaullist leaders and the Socialist party leaders are working furiously to reverse the ‘no’ tide which has rocked them to their foundations. ‘No’ vote campaigners are now warning their supporters not to become complacent just because the polls claim that 54 per cent will vote ‘no’.
The leaders of the French state have been arguing that the EU constitution is a projection of France, and would turn Europe into a kind of ‘Greater France’, and that it is essentially a scheme based on French foundations – meaning that it would be anti-French to vote ‘no’.
But the talk of the ‘great French design’ has hit the rock of the class interests of the French workers, with the latest opinion polls showing the ‘yes’ vote at 42 per cent.
The basic class issues that have come to the fore are now threatening to wreck the designs of the French bourgeoisie, and to provoke consternation amongst the bankers and bosses of the EU.
French workers are rejecting the constitution’s plans for an EU state where privatisation is the norm, and all ‘state monopolies’ have to be broken up into competing private businesses.
They are hostile to the plans of the capitalists to go from ending their 35 hour week, to reducing their wages and conditions closer to the levels of the eastern European states that have joined the union, and to Turkey which is set to join the union.
Already, record numbers of jobs are being exported to eastern Europe and North Africa, and the bosses are daily threatening to move parts of industries and whole industries to Eastern Europe.
French workers have been shocked and angered at the ‘job auctions’ that have taken place in Germany, where jobs go to workers who are prepared to underbid their mates to accept the lowest wages. This spectacle has seen workers vowing that they will defend their jobs and wages no matter what it takes.
The common sentiment is that the EU constitution will open up the floodgates for privatisation and cheap labour, and that it has been designed for this purpose by the bankers and the employers.
The French vote is due to be followed by a referendum in Holland where the ‘no’ vote is showing to be even stronger.
French and Dutch ‘no’ votes will see the ruling classes of the EU states facing a historic dilemma. They are desperate to have a single state that can stand up to both the US and Japanese ruling classes, and participate in the redivision of the world.
They will have to decide whether to impose their constitution regardless of the referendum results, or exclude the countries that vote against, or drop the EU constitution for what could be a number of years.
The first course would mean revolution in France, the second would see France drummed out of the union along with other states, and along with the third course would see the plans of the EU bosses set back for years, which they cannot tolerate.
For the working class, a French ‘no’ will constitute a huge blow against a capitalist Europe run by the bankers and bosses.
A ‘No’ victory will prepare the way for the struggle for a Socialist United States of Europe. Its object will be to raise living standards throughout Europe, not destroy them, and to eradicate unemployment throughout Europe.
This will be done by expropriating the bosses and the bankers, and by developing a European-wide nationalised and planned economy, where production will be to satisfy people’s needs, not to provide massive profits for the bankers and the bosses.
Forward to a ‘No’ victory on Sunday. Forward to a Socialist United States of Europe.