Greece gives us hope

The following was received from the Socialist Labour Party. In addition An article from John Pilger in New Statesman argues why the peoples’ reaction to the crisis of Capitalism is significant for all of us.
Political & Economic Crisis Deepens
The European Union summit that took place over the weekend of 7th to 9th May, originally met to formally agree the 110bn euro bailout of the Greek economy, however such is the speed of the developing crisis that this measure was eclipsed by the need for an agreement to shore up the euro currency itself!
A 750bn euro reserve fund and the establishment of an ‘intervention unit’ were hastily agreed in a desperate effort to strengthen the currency in the face of international speculation that threatened its complete collapse. That this measure was taken after discussions with United States President Obama signifies the worldwide nature of the deepening economic crisis. Furthermore it was deemed that it was essential this bailout be in place by the time the stock markets opened the following Monday.
Not only is the euro in such danger, but the UK is now consistently being linked alongside Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, as countries that the markets and financial speculators feel will be unable to meet their growing debts, giving rise to fears within the British establishment of not if there will be a run on sterling, but when.
It is against this background that a Tory and Liberal Democratic coalition government comes to power in the UK. Bearing in mind that a third of eligible voters did not vote at all and from the remainder only 36% voted for the Tories and 23% for the Lib Dems, this is not a coalition with any mandate to govern. That the Liberal Democrats, the mini-Tories, ditched most of their manifesto pledges at the first sniff of a chance of power, aptly demonstrates their lack of credibility. Indeed, Tory leader, and now Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the formation of the coalition to the media even before Nick Clegg had consulted his parliamentary colleagues, so convinced was he of their unprincipled and opportunist nature.
However, any budget that this coalition initially unveils is most likely to be blown apart by the forthcoming economic storms as the political and economic crisis develops and intensifies on a world scale.
The bank bailout, incorporating the largest transfer of money in recorded history and effectively burdening States with the debts accumulated by the banks and financial institutions, has left insurmountable public debt, with no country being exempt from its effect.
In Greece the dawning realisation of just what is in store for the Greek working class prompted Communist Party MP Haralambos Haralambous to state, “When will building workers retire, at age 80? How do you expect him to carry a bag of cement on his back until that age?”
Commenting on the Greek crisis the New York Times warned that workers in the United States will have to accept similar cuts in pensions and benefits as those being imposed on the working class of Greece.
On the 5th May French Prime Minister Fran├žois Fillon warned the French working class that ‘painful measures were in store (in order) to avoid indebtedness like Greece.”
In Romania the latest IMF imposed austerity measures include a staggering 25% cut in salaries, a 15% cut in pensions and unemployment benefit, a 25% cut in child benefit, and a 15% cut in disabled benefit.
That the UK will somehow be immune from these developments is pure wishful thinking and for all the talk from ruling circles that ‘we are coming out of recession’ in reality they are preparing for the social unrest that will come once the full effects of the austerity measures being prepared for workers in the UK are realised.
As we have witnessed recently in the British Airways dispute, where workers are trying to defend their wages and working conditions, the hard fought for right to withdraw one’s labour, is subject to the whims of court rulings.
Of course court rulings will always be classed based and taken with due consideration of the objective conditions at the time, but ultimately it will be used as a weapon against the trade unions. Therefore the lesson to learn is that as the trade unions become tied down in legal straight jackets, and its leadership exposed as woefully inadequate to face the tasks in hand, the need to develop an independent working class party that gives voice to the millions who will be the victims of the austerity measures, and the millions who will be thrown into struggle, many for the very first time in their lives, becomes a matter of urgency.
The SLP is attempting to build such a party. Join us.

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