For a long time ’Europe’ was just an idea. Perhaps a good idea, certainly an inoffensive idea, but in any event something far off in the distance. The neo-liberal offensive of the 1980s and the fall of the Berlin Wall changed this.
Europe has a long history of wars, invasions, bloody conflicts and social ruptures. No wonder the "utopia of union" is so strong.
Across the European Union, expensive propaganda campaigns are being organised to convince the population that the common European currency is a good thing. The introduction of the Euro is presented as a technical operation, and to everyone’s advantage.
A statement by 70 Dutch economists against the EMU, published February 13 in De Volkskrant, a major Dutch dailies, has spectacularly opened a real debate about the Euro in a country where, until recently, almost everybody seemed to support the Euro project.
There are more than 18 million unemployed in the European Union, according to official statistics. The average unemployment rate is 11% (13% for women and 9% for men. An estimated 50 million people live in poverty.
The current profound restructuring of European capitalism includes a widespread attack on a woman’s right to work. One of the primary elements of this attack is the spread of part-time work.
All industrialised countries are facing a two-fold process of deregulation and privatisation, affecting both public services and social security. The ultimate goal of this offensive is to put sectors of economic and social activity back into the market.
The European Union prefers the train. Officially, at least. But we all know the real situation. Trains might be more socially and ecologically reasonable, but EU "reform" has destroyed the rail system.
Maastricht Europe neither can, nor wants, to attack the roots of the ecological crisis. But political ecology is not just about inter-generation solidarity, or solidarity with the people of the south. The current living conditions of the populations of Europe are also every directly in question.
Ours is the Fourth International. The fourth, "Trotskyist", because the other three disappeared - by political abdication, or organisational collapse.
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