It is a bad day for those innocents on the Left who think that the European Union can be transformed from within, turned into an instrument of the peoples’ will and a motor for social progress, public ownership, popular sovereignty or even pluralist democracy.
For the first time since the monetary union was created parties that oppose the EU regime of privatisation, labour market deregulation and the fiscal straitjacket have been prevented from taking office even though they enjoy a parliamentary majority.
On the grounds of “national interest” Anibal Cavaco Silva, president of Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to allow the appointment a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament on an anti austerity mandate imposed by the EU-IMF Troika.
The Socialists, Communists and left Bloc together won 50.7% of the votes and control the Assembly. The biggest party grouping, led by Pedro Passos Coelho gained only 38.5% losing 28 seats but was given the first chance of forming a government.