Archives for posts with tag: EU

here in Portuguese

We call on the hundreds of thousands of people who say “something must be done” to organize together with us the people’s counterattack.

The pro-people way out of the crisis must become the people’s slogan, which means the struggle to create the pre-conditions for a development path without monopolies, class exploitation, with socialization, central planning and workers’-people’s control, with disengagement from the EU and unilateral cancellation of the debt.

The elongation of the memorandum proposed by the government and the negotiation of SYRIZA so that the payment of the debt may be postponed for one or two years or for it to be reduced by an appeal to the international organizations and negotiations, or a return to the drachma, are different versions which will bring new woes for the people, while capital will once again benefit.

The theory of SYRIZA cadres that bankruptcy is a weapon of the weak is equally damaging for the people. In Argentina there was a cessation of payments, the currency was de-linked from the dollar, after years there was a new negotiation and an annulment of a part of the debt, but unemployment and poverty increased despite the capitalist development. In no instance can the people benefit within the framework of the EU and the system: the situation today entails internal devaluation in the eurozone and constant cuts in salaries, pensions, and social spending. The bankruptcy and the exit from the euro will be accompanied by a sharp price increase in the huge influx of imported products, a huge loss in the workers’ buying power. And in both instances the common elements are the tax raids and the deep undermining of the existing development potential of the country.

Sections of capital want and will be benefited by Greece’s exit from the eurozone, as they will be able to invest with less capital in a country with a devalued currency and salaries at a Bulgarian level.

The choices of the bourgeois class and the EU are inexorable. They want cheap and subdued labour power, now and in the future, the crushing of radical class-oriented labour and people’s movement. For this reason we insist that the workers turn their backs on the recipes for the management of the crisis by the government and SYRIZA, that the people must chart a course for their own power and government, which will free them from the crisis and bankruptcy once and for all. The way out of the crisis in favour of the people, for the achievement of the prosperity of the people and society are today fully linked to the demand of disengagement and the unilateral cancellation of the debt, with the people becoming the owners of the wealth they produce.

The government of the people’s power will transform the current ownership of the big business groups, of the capitalist businesses, the infrastructure, the means of land, sea and air transportation and the land into people’s property.

It will promote productive cooperatives of the small and medium-sized farmers and self-employed and guarantee what is only a dream today for the majority of the people:

  • Work for all, eradication of unemployment.
  • Food self-sufficiency for all the people.
  • Public, free healthcare, welfare for all, abolition of commercial activity in these sectors.
  • Education for all. Utilisation of scientific manpower, research and technology.
  • Free care of children, the elderly and people with special needs by the state.
  • Cheap and good quality housing with electricity, heating and running water
  • Sports, culture, holidays for all with organized infrastructure.

 

It will play a leading role in international economic relations on the basis of the peoples’ mutual benefit. With a sovereign and strong people that struggles for its prosperity the country will be able to liberate itself from the imperialist agreements and the NATO, from its involvement in imperialist wars. 

The workers’ –people’s power provided a great deal to the people in the countries where socialism was constructed. It provided solutions to problems which the workers in capitalist countries could only dream about. We draw lessons from the mistakes and the deficiencies that led to the counterrevolution and the overthrow of socialism. The struggle for a new type of power remains necessary and relevant. 

Now the people must take their matters into their own hands with generalized social-political struggles. These struggles must unite the working class -both in private and public sector- , the poor farmers, the self-employed, the women, the young people in a single direction and stable alliance. 

No sector or group of working people can ward off the relative and absolute destitution by demanding to be excluded from the generalized measures since the attack has a unified character and purpose. On the contrary, the demands of each sector, of each group of working people, of the unemployed and the pensioners can bring results only if they are fought for with appropriate demands and positions and at the same time support the joint nationwide demonstrations. The working people should not accept the struggles of the various sectors to be posed in opposition to each other, the slandering of advanced forms of struggle, of the strikes which are decided on by the working people and respond to the intolerable problems they face. 

At this stage the fronts of struggle and resistance in workplaces, in sectors and neighborhoods must become streams that will merge together and strengthen the general demand of the people for a pro-people way out of the crisis with militant mass demonstrations and the corresponding combative forms of struggle. The struggles must be based on the mass participation in the decision making process and in their organization. The struggle requires mass participation, organization and a political direction for rupture with the interests and the choices of the monopolies at a national and European level. 

The announcement of the measures of the government that will seize 23, 5 billion dollars from people and is preparing for a new round of measures is the first confrontation of the people after the elections. The new attack must meet the appropriate response in terms of form and mass participation e.g. a general strike which under certain conditions can become a starting point for the escalation and the stable strengthening of the people’s struggle. 

In this phase the people must prove that they have the courage, that they can liberate themselves from the illusions which are fostered by the political forces that support the participation of Greece in the EU and turn their back on the blackmail and the intimidating dilemmas. 

Today there are two paths of development which come in conflict: on the one hand, the path which is determined by the monopolies and their parties and on the other, the path of the struggle of the resolute and unwavering masses that leads to rupture, to the overthrow of the monopolies’ power. 

There is no way out as long as the working people, the unemployed, the pensioners are influenced by the various formulas for a liberal, socialist or “left” management of the system; as long as fatalism and defeatism prevail, the mistaken perceptions that the people cannot win, cannot wage effective struggles, that the radical change will never take place and belongs to the “Second Coming”. The people must not passively wait on the various networks, which are hypocritically called networks of solidarity and charity, which are set up in a planned way so that the people will get used to the idea of managing poverty. 

The KKE will take initiatives, at a nationwide, sectoral and local level so as to strengthen the mass class struggle, the people’s initiatives and solidarity in the partial fronts of struggle and at the general political level. It calls on the people to support politically as well as through their struggles the initiative of the KKE which tabled a draft law for the abolition of the memoranda, the loan agreements and the anti-people measures as a whole.

The KKE will be at the forefront of the struggles regarding the people’s income, collective bargaining agreements, social benefits and pensions, jobs, the rights of the unemployed and their families, public works for social infrastructure and housing programmes, for Education, Healthcare and welfare, against the privatizations, against the mergers of banks that lead to dismissals and reductions in salaries, against the dismissals in public sector, regarding the specific acute problems of the youth and women, the problem of drugs which is on the rise, to ensure medical treatment and medicine for all, for the salvation of the social security funds and the payment of salaries and pensions. 

Down with the taxes and the unjust levies. No repossessions and auctions for the indebted families of the popular strata. 

The trade unions, the mass organizations, the people’s committees must strengthen their solidarity while at the same time they should make demands and adopt militant forms of struggle. 

No one should be abandoned to the claws of the tax department and the other state mechanisms, homeless, without food, medicine with their children being driven to malnutrition. No one should be left alone against the repression and the authoritarianism of the state. 

The KKE with its proposal for the way out will be at the forefront of all these struggles along with the working people, the unemployed and poor who have gone bankrupt and cannot shoulder new burdens. 

We must reverse defeatism with the power of our proposal and by placing trust in the working people. We should contribute decisively so that the immense power of the people will be liberated from the bonds of the intimidating dilemmas, anticommunism, the intimidation and the authoritarianism of the employers and the state.

The consciousness of the people must be liberated so that the correlation of forces changes in favor of the people’s interests. 

The KKE calls on the workers to take part in the 38th festival, the major event organized by KNE and ODIGITIS, to participate actively in the mobilizations that will take place over the next period throughout the country and in Thessalonica. The members and the friends of the KKE and KNE must be in the frontline of the struggle with a spirit of self sacrifice in order to pave the way for the victorious course of the people. 

Athens 29/8/2012

The PB of the CC of the KKE

Advertisements

Here is the CGTP‘s assessment of the last troika evaluation.

The portrait presented to the country by the PSD-CDS government is a misleading one. It promises the return to growth already in 2013 – while the Bank of Portugal is still forecasting economic stagnation – following serious recession in the current year in which, with the imposition of successive sacrifices, the budgetary deficit will not be attained and public debt will continue to increase.
Despite the fact that interest rates of the debt titles are going down, the interest rates of 10 year obligations are still unacceptably high and subject to the “markets” speculation. Exports have maintained significant growth rates, but with less acceleration in the present year, while imports have fallen, due to lower purchasing power and drop of public and private investment. The message insists on cutting the external deficit, which means alleviating the need of funding the economy, without trying to assess if that is sustainable.
Therefore, a favourable scenario is being portrayed, in the precise moment in which the recession is deepening, unemployment grows yet again and more youngsters are leaving the country. This is serious,  not only because it is sowing illusions to try and lead to the acceptance of unfair sacrifices. September is a crucial month not just because there is another evaluation but also because the evaluation must be done in the light of what is being shown by the enforcement of austerity policies in several countries, including in Spain, but also of developments concerning the EU debt crisis. Besides being based on a wrong diagnosis, it is even more serious because the government has completely abdicated from its negotiating capacity.

read here in Portuguese

or here in English

In April 2011 I wrote a piece, entitled “It is the German banks stupid” in which I claimed that the primary reason why Europe was allowing a preventable debt crisis to engulf the Periphery had to do with the sorry state of the German banks and with the determination of the German government to do nothing that exposes their precarious condition. I called it the Great Banking Conundrum: how to deal with the Periphery’s public debts without revealing the depth of the black holes in Germany’s (and, less so, France’s) private sector banks. In that piece I opined that the powers that be in Frankfurt and Berlin were busy worrying about Germany’s banks:

“Only they do so in secret, behind closed doors, struggling to find a solution to the Great Banking Conundrum behind the European people’s backs and away from the spotlight of publicity. Their deliberations are now in a new phase, taking their cue from the Greek debt crisis. Lest I be misunderstood, the Greek crisis, however monstrous by Greek standards, is in itself no more than an annoyance for Europe’s surplus countries. A gross sum of €200 to €300 billion could be restructured quite easily or at least dealt with somehow. Its significance lies in the opportunity it offers Germany for revisiting the European banking disaster in its entirety. The Greek debt restructure, with its repercussions on Europe’s banks, is a useful case study; a dress rehearsal; an excuse to begin the process of taking the broader Great Banking Conundrum more seriously.”

After seven years we are shutting down signandsight.com. The site will remain online, but for now no new texts will be posted.

We still believe in the idea behind signandsight.com. We are convinced that Europe needs a public sphere, and we think that this public sphere is best achieved by combining the possibilities of the internet and traditional media. As before, we still love our motto “Let’s Talk European”. Yes, English is now the lingua franca of contemporary Europe. However, when English is used to bring articles written in another language to an international readership, then it serves as a bridge to these others languages and helps create waves. Interestingly, the most lively reactions to signandsight.com came from the US, where there is an intellectual audience that wishes to escape its domestic borders.

Just don’t miss it!

The president of the French republic raised a mountain, and it has fallen on his toes. In launching its offensive against the Roma, the French government believed it could turn to its electoral advantage a problem which is essentially a problem of border policing and the state authorities. Major error. The question of the Roma is not about public or social security, it is about mental security. And it is not a uniquely French problem, it is a European problem.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the American daily the Los Angeles Times conducted one of the first polls in Eastern Europe in 1990. The results showed that for 80 percent of the populations freshly freed from Communism – Czechs, Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians and Poles, the ‘Gypsy’ was the incarnation of the diabolical other.

In the nineties and in the face of strong popular resistance, Czech President Vaclav Havel tore down a ghetto where his people wanted to see the “travelling people” incarcerated. The hatred of the “Gypsies” may be widespread and have seen its worse excesses in Eastern Europe, but it is certainly no stranger to the West. Nineteen century literature and opera – from Victor Hugo to Verdi – amply betrays the fears of the sedentary about the non-territorial collective. Begging, disease, thieving, and even fantasies about child snatching – such were the associations that for centuries haunted a European mind living in fear of “people who don’t live as we do”. Propelling this hysteria to its extreme, the Nazis sent these “sub-humans” to the gas chambers.

enrich; impoverish: a tag in a Portuguese streeet

This article ignited Spain. Published on August 14 in the El Pais section of culture, within days became the most read piece of paper ever in that journal. The author is a Spanish writer committed to the aspirations of its people.

Se percebemos bem – e não é fácil, porque somos um bocado tontos –, a economia financeira está para a economia real assim como o senhor feudal está para o servo, como o amo está para o escravo, como a metrópole está para a colónia, como capitalista manchesteriano está para o operário superexplorado. A economia financeira é o inimigo de classe da economia real, com a qual brinca como um porco ocidental com corpo de uma criança num bordel asiático. Esse porco filho da puta pode, por exemplo, fazer com que a tua produção de trigo se valorize ou desvalorize dois anos antes de a teres semeado. Na verdade, pode comprar-te, sem que tu saibas da operação, uma colheita inexistente e vendê-la a um terceiro, que a venderá a um quarto e este a um quinto, e pode conseguir, de acordo com os seus interesses, que durante esse processo delirante o preço desse trigo quimérico dispare ou se afunde sem que tu ganhes mais caso suba, ainda que vás à merda se baixar. Se o baixar demasiado, talvez não te compense semear, mas ficarás endividado sem ter o que comer ou beber para o resto da tua vida e podes até ser preso ou condenado à forca por isso, dependendo da região geográfica em que tenhas caído, ainda que não haja nenhuma segura. É disso que trata a economia financeira.

Para exemplificar, estamos a falar da colheita de um indivíduo, mas o que o porco filho da puta geralmente compra é um país inteiro e ao preço da chuva, um país com todos os cidadãos dentro, digamos que com gente real que se levanta realmente às seis da manhã e se deita à meia-noite. Um país que, da perspectiva do terrorista financeiro, não é mais do que um tabuleiro de jogos no qual um conjunto de bonecos Playmobil andam de um lado para o outro como se movem os peões no Jogo da Glória.

A primeira operação do terrorista financeiro sobre a sua vítima é a do terrorista convencional: o tiro na nuca. Ou seja, retira-lhe todo o carácter de pessoa, coisifica-a. Uma vez convertida em coisa, pouco importa se tem filhos ou pais, se acordou com febre, se está a divorciar-se ou se não dormiu porque está a preparar-se para uma competição. Nada disso conta para a economia financeira ou para o terrorista económico que acaba de pôr o dedo sobre o mapa, sobre um país, este no caso, pouco importa, e diz “compro” ou diz “vendo” com a impunidade com que aquele que joga Monopólio compra ou vende propriedades imobiliárias a fingir.

Quando o terrorista financeiro compra ou vende, converte em irreal o trabalho genuíno de milhares ou milhões de pessoas que antes de irem para a labuta deixaram no infantário público, onde ainda existem, os seus filhos, também eles produto de consumo desse exército de cabrões protegidos pelos governos de meio mundo mas superprotegidos, é claro, por essa coisa a que temos chamado de Europa ou União Europeia ou, mais simplesmente, Alemanha, para cujos cofres são desviados neste preciso momento, enquanto lê estas linhas, milhares de milhões de euros que estavam nos nossos cofres.

E não são desviados num movimento racional, justo ou legítimo, desviam-se num movimento especulativo promovido por Merkel com a cumplicidade de todos os governos da chamada zona euro. Tu e eu, com a nossa febre, os nossos filhos sem infantário ou sem trabalho, o nosso pai doente e sem ajudas, com os nossos sofrimentos morais ou as nossas alegrias sentimentais, tu e eu já fomos coisificados por Draghi, por Lagarde, por Merkel, já não temos as qualidades humanas que nos tornam dignos da empatia dos nossos semelhantes. Somos agora mera mercadoria que pode ser expulsa do lar de idosos, do hospital, da escola pública, tornámo-nos algo desprezível, como esse pobre tipo a quem o terrorista, por antonomásia, está prestes a dar um tiro na nuca em nome de Deus ou da pátria.

A ti e a mim, estão a pôr nos carris do comboio uma bomba diária chamada prémio de risco, por exemplo, ou juros a sete anos, em nome da economia financeira. Avançamos com rupturas diárias, massacres diários, e há autores materiais desses atentados e responsáveis intelectuais dessas acções terroristas que passam impunes entre outras razões porque os terroristas vão a eleições e até ganham, e porque há atrás deles importantes grupos mediáticos que legitimam os movimentos especulativos de que somos vítimas.

A economia financeira, se começamos a perceber, significa que quem te comprou aquela colheita inexistente era um cabrão com os documentos certos. Terias tu liberdade para não vender? De forma alguma. Tê-la-ia comprado ao teu vizinho ou ao vizinho deste. A actividade principal da economia financeira consiste em alterar o preço das coisas, crime proibido quando acontece em pequena escala, mas encorajado pelas autoridades quando os valores são tamanhos que transbordam dos gráficos.

Aqui alteram o preço das nossas vidas a cada dia sem que ninguém resolva o problema, pior, enviando as forças da ordem contra quem tenta fazê-lo. E, por Deus, as forças da ordem empenham-se a fundo na protecção desse filho da puta que te vendeu, por meio de um roubo autorizado, um produto financeiro, ou seja, um objecto irreal no qual tu investiste as poupanças reais de toda a tua vida. O grande porco vendeu-lhe fumaça com o amparo das leis do Estado que são as leis da economia financeira, já que estão ao seu serviço.

Na economia real, para que uma alface nasça, há que semeá-la e cuidar dela e dar-lhe o tempo necessário para se desenvolver. Depois, há que a colher, claro, e embalar e distribuir e facturar a 30, 60 ou 90 dias. Uma quantidade imensa de tempo e de energia para obter uns cêntimos que terás de dividir com o Estado, através dos impostos, para pagar os serviços comuns que agora nos são retirados porque a economia financeira tropeçou e há que tirá-la do buraco. A economia financeira não se contenta com a mais-valia do capitalismo clássico, precisa também do nosso sangue e está nele, por isso brinca com a nossa saúde pública e com a nossa educação e com a nossa justiça da mesma forma que um terrorista doentio, passe a redundância, brinca enfiando o cano da sua pistola no rabo do seu sequestrado.

Há já quatro anos que nos metem esse cano pelo rabo. E com a cumplicidade dos nossos.

Adapted from resistir.info

The Greek Prime Minister, Sr. Samaras, begs on his knees to the European powers granting  more time to pauperize his own people. Promises to make an additional cut of 11.5 billion euros in expenses of the Greek state. And this in a country where its workforce has more unemployed than employed. Samaras is catastrophic for the Greek people. Such pleas, if met, would only serve to further extend the agony of Greece under the boot of the troika. The only proper attitude that serves the interests of the Greek people is that advocated by KKE: the rupture with the EU, the ECB and other imperialist organizations, with recovery of monetary sovereignty and national independence.
Meanwhile, the Social Democrats Syriza (Friends of the Portuguese Left Bloc), who try to live it forces a compromise with the EU, this week received the response they deserved the chairman of the Eurogroup. Asked an audience to Mr.. Juncker and it hit them in the face with the door. The EU does not want reconciliation. Let this be a lesson to conciliators in Lusitanian lands.

Read this (in Portuguese)

(…)Entretanto, não mudou a essência do sistema capitalista, as suas contradições, os antagonismos de classe que o caracterizam e que o condenam a prazo. A crise profunda do processo de integração europeia é expressão viva da crise do próprio sistema.

Como nos idos anos 20, comentadores de serviço e políticos de turno ocupam-se das causas do «declínio da Europa», apontam causas e soluções para a crise. Invariavelmente, o reforço da integração capitalista surge como caminho a seguir.

Como nos anos 20, um «furúnculo fétido» apodrece e corre o risco de rebentar. Extirpá-lo o quanto antes é a tarefa inadiável com que os povos da Europa se confrontam.

A failed Europe has the potential to cause the rest of the world to fail as well, and at the very least would likely result in a “lost generation”, characterised by unemployment and low growth across the board. The potential for this disaster is very real and as Europe stands on the precipice the rest of the world needs to exert whatever influence it can to see that Europe does not indeed falter as it did during the 1930s. History has shown that the costs of such a failure are too steep to bear.