How to Defeat Austerity right across Europe?

but obviously the challenge made by syriza and the vote for the Greek people since the new year has transformed attitudes the dynamics in Europe in a way that probably wasn’t considered possible a year ago and the question is is it going to end in a sense tears of the variation of syriza or can it lead to something more and probably within that there is the basic issue of the structure and character of the eurozone and how its basic architecture means that it’s always going to be near on the broad set on the terms of the corporations and big business or how far there is room for reform and change within the structures of the eurozone and the EU this has been a major debate within the trade union movement that has fluctuated back and forth in the 1970s the 1970s position of the s of the tea you see the St you see trade union about half the Labor Party was that EU was irredeemably neoliberal anti working class in the 1980s opinions one banner and the social childhood to say that in fact the EU could protect workers against the worst attract tourism over the recent period again a movement I think back towards a much greater skepticism in the trade union movement and elsewhere about the European Union because of the austerity because it’s been enforcing but nonetheless there is still the belief that possibly change is possible within the Euro within the eurozone I think that is the key thing that we debated today I don’t want to speak handed round a handout which some people might have seen fifteen or sixteen people here as probably twice that number but on it I can just remind myself of what’s there there is the National reform program of the United Kingdom as submitted to the European Union and that specifies that they will eliminate the deficit within four years and how they going to do it so that is in fact Osborne’s program no deficit by 2020 assessment by the Institute of physical studies about what that’s going to mean it’s going to mean the cuts we’ve so far seen are as nothing – what’s good a comment for the next three or four years then both of that you see the text of the treaty on stability coordination and governance passed by 26 nations agreed by 26 nations of the European Union in 2012 which specifies about the nature of deficits no country in future should have a deficit not three percent but zero point five so that is why the balanced budget becomes necessary and that will be mandatory all those countries by the final floors it looks like and it’s difficult to interpret EU law has been operate but they say within five years of this coming into force which was in five 2013 within five years it should become the more of the European Union the moment is only on those signatures those 26 member signatories so that’s that who is the et News see statement the European trade Union Congress usually doesn’t say much about the European Union or against it nobody gets paid by but on this occasion if you read it through it’s dominated by the Europe the German unions which are generally for obvious reasons for any pro EU but on this occasion it actually says that what is inherent in that 2012 document of the physical compact is directly anti

working class and will destroy the interests of working people in policy these are some readings for you and the other thing I’m going to pass around are two things one is the trade policy on Greece for privatization the so forth sort of called policy of national renewal and one particular part of it what’s called and it’s a very nice term the asset development fund development and it lists all the things all the things you wouldn’t believe just how much real estate company shares rights it shares in all the internet all the methods International Airport’s and all the other ones she hasn’t petroleum sewage the ports the post system telephony the verbal spectrum the lottery system gas storage three three of the biggest banks and the motorways all be privatized and the other thing which you will find at the back of that is the settlement that the new government in Greece the cities the government has put forward to the Eurogroup last week was the full details of that you can see just how much they’ve had to trim change and modify their original demands in order to be able to get something that might be accepted their first proposals weren’t accepted which now do oblige them to commit themselves to various forms of budget stringency including unfortunately areas of wages and workers rights it would seem reading through although they also try and shift the main balance towards tax evasion read it through I think Prem sitting here somewhere he could read it through was an accountants and make some assessment on but of course that has got to be reassessed by these auditors and accountants on behalf of the troika the three groups the IMF the European Central Bank and the EU Commission is got to be reassessed within four months and if it doesn’t measure up to what they really want they will again put further screws on the Greek government so that’s the frame the question for discussion because it basically is can you operate any form policy that [ __ ] the corporation’s bucks what they’re trying to do the project right it’s about screwing now the workers in the interests of maximizing profit and preventing a crash financially within a bazaar capitalist system that’s now reached the stage which unless it can get that maximum profit crashes as we saw in 2008 so what is it about can the eurozone function as something within which workers work what should we learn from syriza and how can we develop the movement against austerity in solidarity across work across European austerity programs not quite as bad as but which they have so far managed to largely resist because of an extremely strong trade union movement but I’m sure they the EU Commission that’s my introduction

and those organizations that fight against these so-called free trade agreements to mention the granddaddy every free trade agreement which is a European single market first the agreement on a scale the boys signed off by the Thatcher government and it’s a weakness or the movement not recognized that the attacks of him and TTP NRA are also in Hammond and the European single market I firmly believe the ruling class across the world a bit delayed oh they are good for growth there would have kept the working class or the underworld hidden that have never had before and West we got our act together and we’ll never get our act together national merit equations of what happened in Greece people increased food for a government that silver spoon opposed history program junii of whose policies at the tiger and was political in Europe another restaurant and what happened that week because she has went back to Athens friendly with a deal between the wags of course the capitalist was an international level sit so far I do further and selicia’s efforts of funding and arak of international conquest resistance no have enough to meet once a will forces Ida period at the claim to build a pool event suspend assemblies to forgive me Garber negative forces and not read the claim to fight that type of blood and guts challenge of portability the Box fatal Court recognized that syriza and probably not personally for demas and speak as social movements hope and heaven witnesses and uncle Harvey the here is more radical in the painted stampede Fatima says paid a citizen and Greece are all much of a muchness the what a definite economic and political analysis of what’s actually going on and Suki a mock speeches here I want a new fangled politics but one needed extra money the other point is CSS baklava it came up here the lexical full and recordable in democracy beautiful car e-mail machine a little delegate a democracy doesn’t work in the European Union they sit at the gates and the Italians fought the year ago and finally our little weakened democratic governments were going to take a transcendent around the country the city the people of France and Ireland were near the former husband te aurere forth around Lake mo the more affluent to you for the right way the merchant democracy tunicate monkeys social movements lo pan province so we really got to analyze exactly what’s going on what ICF the major weakness as the size and a communist party and every European Union member state especially in Brown at a people had developed a serious fake bar has promoted the possibility of factory I know need to defeat after defeat after defeat that just beats support for fascism if we put it seriously Telemachus talk or real rates we did the galvanized are in the program or the Communist Party and Greece and Portugal and brand and Spain and France and Germany if a tenant dealer we won’t they – Ravi recording is beyond us Achilles heel and the distributed way the women the anti-communism artists are Muslim and

the truth Trotsky’s support that undermines documented Psychopaths based on the only way were thought faculty success to organize what could cost and opinion and we love us I’ve series as a very combative statement well I can see some I think how do we actually what will give these policy demands and programs teeth will be there to express it before mentioning of the public sector the question the state for us the key question was being what kind of scent is two situations but within this structure

so yes I think we could possibly both here and ask friend to answer that question take advantage of his presence any notion of income expense everybody here even on the left accepts workers get a wage accounting full same way is a cost that’s a shocking way to describe the cost cost me there will be reckless

you cannot project private interest vocabulary and the ways of doing things to make sense of the bigger picture they said two things one conventional accounts are of no use for making decisions they are from the system so for example change that if you want to generate wealth it requires corporation social capital state provides therefore there is no question of saying which one is the burden which is a cost okay they all entitled to a return then the question becomes how we distribute the cake not who’s already labeled as we need to also focuses discussion whether it’s rose coming in to tell us we’ve run out of time nope she’s coming to join the discover well that focuses they the sense the questions through had two different points of view here innocence those who saying well it’s the system that’s got to change and in a sense for him saying no he doesn’t mean it in that sense either I don’t think that he’s managing to convince some of the people in Parliament even Tories that you need to change the system in order to make it work and that Alice’s I think you are Genesis question are some of the people in charge of this mad system actually becoming concerned about it let’s let’s take it forward Mike and then was somebody over here I sort of it

that’s a question you thrown out Iceland did it capital controls massive devaluation but at the same time had maintained now a growth rate was higher than any other country I think in Europe so that’s a very small economy that they managed to do it but that’s that’s just making important coming into the discussion

but Syria itself in terms of its actual position said we must keep within the EU and the eurozone and that meant that people who were frightened about losing maybe some of their savings if a devaluation occurred felt they could vote for some reason so they managed to get whatever it was 36 percent of the vote but they’ve brought that hostage to fortune the people who elected them think that they’re going to be still in the eurozone and the people in Frankfurt know that and they can use it against them so that is the weakness of their position it’s how you move forward anyway that’s on the on the e.u and syriza of the fight against against austerity across europe we need the half and this is the point of these kind of conferences and I think we can take heart from the fact that it’s pretty well attended and there’s a very high level of discussion a thought we’ve got to get that clarity out in there in the move because there isn’t that clarity at the moment there is the same kind of populism well you know we can maybe get this if we just say in this book that way without that clear understanding that’s what we’ve got again if we’re going to get the movement that really has got the power to do something anyway who else is going to come in or do a linkage with okay probably to drawing this thing to I think it’s been a very good discussion not sure we can draw it to a conclusion that everybody agrees with but there may be certain things that people could agree with that the battle against austerity across Europe is beginning to get people seeing some of the realities of what you could call class power and how it is exercised beginning to the institutions that have been enforcing class power which would be those we’ve just been talking about NATO to some extent it’s not really seen by those people but the EU is being now looked at I think more closely again most people don’t see it as something that is going to directly impact on them they don’t see it as operating for the big companies and also for the very rich in all the Member States which is what it is but there’s beginning to be that realization and a realization of the kind of things that Prem was talking about austerity which is enforced not just by our government but by collectively the EU is not a matter of debt it is a project to destroy the trade union and labor movement further it’s already been massively so this is beginning to be I think there’s a consensus that we agree out there and I think there’s also a consensus that we need to fight back on local immediate issues in communities and in trade unions and collective bargaining and so far as we’ve still got it and that in this country the People’s Assembly is crucially important of that again it doesn’t really have yet a mass profile but it’s got to be developed because that’s the only thing that can unite trade unions in general and the

communities and it is not party political I think that’s very important because at the moment one of the great dangers is a corrosive cynicism about all parties I think we have to say the People’s Assembly as a program may not be as sharp as we’d like but it’s got a program it’s anti austerity exposes austerity and then try and win as many as we can from any political party to take a position on that platform and there are people in the labour party like Neil Findlay or Ian Davidson who would commit themselves to that there are both of the people inside yes and people commit themselves to that and in other parties as well got to fight politically but ultimately it will be a political fight in the in the parliament after the election that would decide the profile of how we go forward but the key thing is going to be that greater understanding of what the objectives of workers must be immediately collective bargaining against austerity maximum pressure built building that unity but ultimately the point that has been made earlier in this meeting that it has got to be an understanding of the need for socialism not kinda wish you wash away but not understanding of how we’re going to get socialism about the need to change the state the state power to enforce his capitalist interests and what it is what represents them not just the British state but also the euro EU and the IMF and the other institutions across the world that represent big business including detail so I don’t know is that summer Sun a bit yeah there are probably lots of things that divide us but if we can agree on that that’s a good starting point okay