Skip to main content

France, presidential elections : ten proposals to beat the European Union

It is again clear from the current election campaign in France that a large proportion of the population wants left-wing radical solutions to exit the crisis. The impressive number of people attending Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s rallies and joining his movement La France Insoumise is evidence enough as well as poll survey results on voting intentions. This is indeed good reason to rejoice. Such upsurge of support for left-wing radical proposals to turn away from European treaties is a positive signal. Two other left-wing candidates, Philippe Poutou and Nathalie Arthaud, also benefit from a large-scale sympathy. Philippe Poutou’s attack on François Fillon and Marine Le Pen during the 4 April 2017 television debate also prompted a lot of interest, in and outside France.

by Eric Toussaint , Teresa Rodríguez , Miguel Urbán Crespo , Angela Klein , Stathis Kouvelakis , Costas Lapavitsas , Zoe Konstantopoulou , Marina Albiol , Olivier Besancenot , Rommy Arce

Part 1

This collective text (full list of signatories here) initiated by Eric Toussaint, of the CADTM campaign for the abolition of the debt of the global South has been collectively discussed and co-signed by personalities and activists from more than 15 European countries representing a wide range of forces of the radical and anticapitalist Left: Podemos and Izquierda Unida in Spain, the Portuguese Left Bloc, the Left Party, the NPA and Ensemble in France, Popular Unity and Antarsya in Greece, the radical Danish left and activists from countries such as Cyprus, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Hungary. It is signed by MEPs from different parties and countries, by the head of finance of the City of Madrid, by the former president of the Greek Parliament, by a series of members of the Commission For the truth on the Greek debt. All the signatories are involved in the ongoing discussions about a “plan B” for Europe.

The aim of this text is to analyze the balance of power in the European Union and elaborate a series of radical but necessary proposals against austerity, neoliberal policies and for an alternative to the existing form of European integration.

The ten proposals put forward in this text are the outcome of an analysis of the situation in Europe since 2010. It takes into account the experience of the confrontation between Syriza and the Troika in the first half of 2015 and of the defeat that followed, but also the Spanish, Irish or Cypriot experiences. Recent events have clearly demonstrated the need for a left-wing government to have the courage to disobey to the injunctions of European authorities and break decisively with the framework of the founding Treaties of the EU. This must be accompanied by a popular mobilization triggered by the initiatives of the left-wing government and by a series of robust measures to be implemented immediately: organize a debt audit with citizen participation, put in place a control of capital flows, socialize the financial sector and the energy sector, reform radically the tax system. And of course, the inevitable debate on the euro area needs to be publicly conducted, with exit as an option that must be defended at least in some countries.

The cold analysis of the European policies of the recent years invariably leads to this conclusion: only strong sovereign and unilateral self-defense measures will enable any progressive national government and the social forces who back it to break with austerity and neoliberalism and address the issue of the illegitimate debt.

Since May 2010, the question of national debt has become a central concern for Greece and for the rest of the eurozone. The first program of €110 billion, imposed by the troika — comprised of the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — for the purpose of elaborating and executing this program, provoked a brutal increase in Greek public debt. This was also the case in various forms in Ireland (2010), Portugal (2011), Cyprus (2013), and Spain.

This program had the following fundamental objectives:

  • Bail out the private banks with public funds so that they may avoid the damaging consequences of their own private credit bubble, averting a new major international financial crisis.

  • Give to the new public creditors, who replaced the private creditors, enormous coercive powers over the governments and institutions of the peripheral countries in order to impose policies of radical austerity, deregulation (eroding large numbers of labor and welfare benefits), privatizations, and stricter authoritarian controls (see the last point).

  • Preserve the eurozone perimeter (in other words, keep Greece and the other peripheral countries within the eurozone), which is a powerful instrument in the hands of the multinational corporations and the major economies of the zone.

  • Bring neoliberal policies to bear more heavily on Greece, in particular, but also on the other eurozone peripheral countries as an example for all the European populations.

  • Reinforce a Europe-wide (as much for the European Union generally as for each member state) authoritarian form of governance, without resorting to new experiments resembling fascist or Nazi regimes or that of Franco, Salazar, or the Greek colonels (1967-1974). This aspect is insufficiently taken into account because the accent is placed on the economic and social repercussions. The authoritarian tendency within the European Union and the eurozone is a key issue and goal of the European Commission and the big corporations. This touches on executive powers, expeditious voting procedures, limiting or violating many rights, disregarding electors’ choices and, among more, increased repression of dissent.

There are lessons to be learned from the failure of the policies adopted by the government of Alexis Tsipras in 2015 to break the bonds of austerity. It is also necessary to realize the limits of the socialist minority government of Antonio Costa in Portugal.

Alternative policies in the people’s interest must at the same time address austerity, public debt, private banks, the eurozone, and oppose authoritarian tendencies. The experiences in the eurozone over the 2010-16 period clearly show that it is impossible to break with austerity unless responses to at the least the abovementioned problems are put forward. Of course, the climatic and ecological crises must also be addressed. So must we confront the humanitarian crisis caused by Europe’s fortified-borders policy, the Middle East crisis, and the rise of racism and the far right, responsible for the death of so many immigration and asylum seekers in the Mediterranean.

Since the election of Trump, and also since the appearance of the radical movements that gathered around the Bernie Sanders candidacy, now called into the front line of opposition against Trump and his program, the European radical left, trade unions, feminists, and ecologists must create links with the forces of resistance in the United States.

A large part of the radical left forces who have sitting members of parliament had and still have a mistaken idea of what EU integration and the eurozone is. To put it simply, they seem to see more advantages than disadvantages in the European Union. They consider that the European Union, as much as the eurozone, is compatible with a return of social-democratic policies, somewhat less injustice, and a Keynesian-style relaunching of the economy.

Source, links, references:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stock market: one of the biggest frauds in the age of financial capitalism

globinfo freexchange
Lee Camp speaks with Tan Liu about his revealing book The Ponzi Factor, where Liu exposes all the big fraud of the stock market. Liu explains why the stock market, especially today, in the era of financial capitalism, is the purest definition of a Ponzi scheme:
The issue, of course, is profits from stocks and what makes a stock price move, is not the earnings and growth. It is actually money from another investor. Now, is there a connection at all with respect to earnings and growth and this price movement? Yes, it's called a speculative connection. It is not a legal one. It is not a logical one. It is not a definitive, or, a mathematical one.
The SEC defines three basic features of a Ponzi scheme:
One, it is an investment scenario. Two, the investment profits come from other investors. Three, the investors think the profits come from somewhere else.
What we can clearly observe every single day, every single moment the stocks are trading, is an event where the stoc…

How a group of economists undermined public institutions, paving the way to neoliberalism

An assumption had become a truth. The self-interested model of human behaviour, that had been developed in the Cold War to make the mathematical equations work, had now been adopted by these economists as a fundamental truth about the reality of all human social interaction.
globinfo freexchange
A group of economists in the early 70s arbitrarily adopted the self-interested model of human behaviour that had been developed in the Cold War, to explain the dysfunctionality of public institutions. This perception would become a powerful tool in the hands of the neoliberal ideology, carried by big banks and corporations, to demonize the state and dismantle any state control upon them at the expense of the societies.
In his documentary The Trap, Adam Curtis explains:
In the early 70s, the government bureaucracies in Britain began to collapse. Those around them blamed a growing economic crisis, but it was clear that something much more fundamental had gone wrong. What were supposed to be institut…

Italy, Greece, Deutsche Bank: heavy clouds of non-linear collapse gather again above Europe

globinfo freexchange
For nearly ten years now, the key decision centers inside eurozone are trying to hide the huge problems, pretending that the crisis is behind, in order to maintain a completely failed economic model, which also reveals, day by day, its authoritarian nature and despise against real Democracy. The totally problematic structure of eurozone makes things even worse.
In Italy, we had another political crisis and a constitutional coup because the new majority and potential coalition government is not likeable to the Brussels/Berlin axis.
In Greece, things are not looking better. The country is about to exit the IMF-type neoliberal program imposed by the Troika (ECB, European Commission, IMF), in August. Yet, the economy is still in very bad shape, drowning in stagnation, with unprecedented unemployment, nearly zero growth and a national debt at 180% of GDP, which is actually much higher than Greece's debt in 2010 (120% of GDP) when crisis hit the country!
In fact, the eu…

More evidence that the 2011 riots in Syria were sparked by a false flag operation

globinfo freexchangeIndependent journalist Eva Bartlett spoke with Lee Camp about her recent trip in Syria. Bartlett visited the hospital in Douma where many victims of the latest alleged chemical attack went to receive medical care. Bartlett spoke with a medical student who was working the day of the alleged attack, and actually confirmed the reporting by the veteran journalist Robert Fisk, according to which there was no evidence of a chemical attack.
Bartlett also went to Daraa, where the first protests took place in 2011, and spoke to people there. They confirmed what many other investigative journalists support. 

This is strong evidence that it was a false flag operation that actually sparked the subsequent riots:
In the initial protest, Daraa was named as the birthplace of the so-called revolution. And Daraa is a city in the very south of Syria, not a very large city, and a rather unlikely city for a so-called revolution to have started. But prior going to Daraa, I interviewed a do…

WikiLeaks reveals Italian officials had serious concerns about Italy's ability to participate in the monetary union already since the late 70s

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD)holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A 1978 cable from the US Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs to the Secretary of State, was monitoring in detail the Italian serious concerns on the perspective of Italy joining the European monetary union. It describes an atmosphere of anxiety insi…

What happens when a country decides to decouple itself from the US/Saudi axis of evil

globinfo freexchange
The role of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East chaos is quite well known. Recall that in aletter of the Podesta email series, John Podesta admitted that both Qatar and Saudi Arabia were helping ISIS. Podesta also mentioned that the US should exercise pressure to these countries in order to stop doing it: “... we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.
Of course Hillary Clinton wouldn't do anything about this problem too, as in another letter of the Podesta email series, it was revealed that Bill Clinton was receiving "expensive gifts" from the Qataris!
As reported by Antimedia, in 2009 Qatar proposed a pipeline to run through Syria and Turkey to export Saudi gas. Assad rejected the proposal and instead formed an agreement with Iran and Ira…

How eurozone became a financial dictatorship

It all started with the silent coup against Ireland
globinfo freexchange
In 2010, Ireland experienced Frankfurt's political blackmail. On the 18th of November, where there was a governing council of the ECB in Frankfurt. The governor of the Irish central bank who sat on the governing council, called "Morning Ireland" which is the most important radio program in Ireland, to say that Ireland will need what he called a loan. He didn't warn the government about it and this created a massive panic.
Then, the next day, there was a letter written from the then president of ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, to Brian Lenihan, the minister of finance at the time, saying that 'if you don't apply the so-called bailout program, by this opening of the markets the following Monday, we're going to cut off access to Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA)', which obviously would have collapsed the Irish banking system.
The ECB used the liquidity weapon in order to impose its terms o…

David Harvey: unless there is some real new thinking, another crisis is inevitable

globinfo freexchange
Chris Hedges spoke with David Harvey about the repeated crises of the capitalist system, which generate further instability, especially since the early 70s where we have the rise of financial capitalism and neoliberal ideology.
As Harvey points out:
Interestingly, in almost every crisis there has been a good deal of re-evaluation of exactly how to think about the economy, how to think about the relationship between state power and politics and all this kind of stuff.
Since 2007-08, is hardly any new thinking at all. And actually, we're trying to hang on. And we are trying to hang on because the oligarchy - which has all of the money, all of the power - is actually in a situation where it does not want any change. And until we confront the oligarchy, we're not going to find a way of exiting from this, apart from repeating what happened in 2007-08.
And the interesting thing when you look back, before 2007-08, and you see big financial crises in Argentina, in Braz…

Ecuador and Julian Assange in great danger as traitor Moreno is about to throw them into the hands of the US empire

Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, shook up his cabinet and appointed six new ministers this week. The move appears to confirm what many of his critics on the Left have long suspected, which is that Moreno is moving the country increasingly towards the Right. That is, they say he is reversing the policies under the previous government, Rafael Correa, who pursued a fairly progressive agenda, particularly in foreign and economic affairs. For example, President Moreno’s new Minister of the Economy, Richard Martinez, comes directly from the country’s business class, where he worked as a consultant for the Chamber of Industry and Production, and he also was president of Ecuador’s Business Committee, which is the country’s main business association.
globinfo freexchange
Greg Wilpert of the Real News spoke with Guillaume Long, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador under former President Rafael Correa, about the rapid turn of the new Ecuadorian administration towards neoliberal policies…

The facts about Venezuela’s May 20th Presidential Election

Despite a high level of election transparency, one that Jimmy Carter called “the best in the world”, the US and its allies have accused Venezuela of election fraud. Caleb Maupin breaks down how Venezuela’s electoral system really works.
by Caleb T. Maupin
Part 3 - Accusations of Fraud
Despite the stringent safeguards in place to protect Venezuela’s election integrity, international media based in Western countries have widely claimed the election was fraudulent. Those claiming that the results are illegitimate have cited prior statements from SmartMatic, a corporation based in London that manufactured Venezuela’s voting machines. An official statement from SmartMatic claimed the 2017 Constitutional Referendum vote showed “tamper evident.” Statements from SmartMatic have been vague about how exactly the results were illegitimate or what malpractice took place.
Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Elections Center (CNE), says the claims from SmartMatic and its Chief Executive Antonio …