Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Socialist Case for Exit

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/369/6060

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 November 2004

Ministers Paper Over Growing EU Crises

ON 29 October leaders from the 25 member states of the European Union (EU), meeting in Rome, signed a new European Constitution.

John Reid, Socialist Party, and Per-Ake Westerlund, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI, Sweden)

However, the pomp and ceremony of the signing took place against the farcical background of the withdrawal of the entire EU executive by the incoming European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso.

Borroso had faced rejection of the executive commissioners by a majority of Members of the European Parliament because of the appointment of the reactionary Rocco Buttiglione by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Buttiglione, who has now stood down, had aimed to become the EU's new commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, despite declaring homosexuality as a "sin" and attacking single mothers and asylum seekers' rights.

Referendums

ALTHOUGH THE leaders of Europe have signed the constitution it still has to be agreed by all member countries. This could become a major problem for the constitution's architects as it is likely to be rejected by a number of countries, including Britain and possibly France, where referendums are expected to take place. So far, eleven countries have indicated that they will hold referendums.

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has mooted a date for the referendum "in early 2006" after the widely expected British general election in May or June 2005. Tony Blair is hoping that if Labour win the general election the political momentum will secure a majority in the referendum.

But what happens if a number of states reject the constitution? The state or states in question could hold a second vote - possibly after negotiating opt outs - or could leave the EU. More likely, the constitution could be altered or even abandoned.

In addition to the constitution issue there are growing tensions between member states, reflecting different national capitalist interests. These differences could explode at a future date, especially during an economic downturn.

Last year's economic growth in the euro-zone was less than 1% and for 2004 the expected growth will be below 2%.

Severe attacks

Instead of improvements, workers and particularly pensioners all over the EU have faced new, more severe attacks on their living standards. Austerity plans from governments have been supplemented or overtaken by a new wave of attacks from the big companies on wages, working conditions etc.

This has led to an upsurge in discontent and protests, particularly in Germany and the Netherlands. In Germany, the Monday demonstrations against attacks on the unemployed, and especially the actions of the car workers at Opel (General Motors), have shaken politicians throughout Europe.

The rules of the monetary union have deepened the present economic crisis. The Portuguese government, led by Barroso in the past, obeyed the rules of the "Stability Pact" and slashed thousands of public sector jobs. This deepened the recession and actually pushed up the public sector deficit instead of the intended opposite result.

The European Commission has proposed a softening of the "Stability and Growth Pact". Last year, both Germany and France ignored the rules, which say that state budget deficits bigger than 3% of GDP should be punished. A majority of the EU finance ministers voted with them to avoid the threat of fines.

Since then, Greece has been exposed with hidden deficits for several years of up to 5%. Germany, France and Portugal are breaking the rules again this year. Italy and the Netherlands are also very close. This trend will continue.

Nationalism

THE MOOD against the EU is growing in the member states. In the recent Euro barometer poll, only 43% said they have a positive image of the Union. Only 39% in Germany thought the country benefited from EU membership. Politicians aiming to tap this mood will attempt to play a nationalist card.

The Tories and UKIP with their "little Englander" agendas reject the constitution. They reflect more the interests of the smaller capitalists and sections of finance capital as opposed to interests of the multinational corporations who are championed by New Labour.

Socialists are opposed to the constitution because it will strengthen the neo-liberal attacks on workers throughout Europe, which will mean more job losses, more privatisation, more attacks on workers' and trade union rights. In other words, the constitution is a bosses' charter.

In rejecting the bosses' European Union, socialists are in favour of building genuine international solidarity between the workers of Europe. We are in favour of a socialist Europe based on the democratic control, ownership and planning of industry by the working class of Europe.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 6 November 2004:

PCS Striking To Save Jobs And Services

For A One-Day Public-Sector Strike

"Why I Am On Strike"

Understaffed, Stressed And Under Threat

They Can't Bury Our Voices


Socialist Party news and analysis

Hoe Street ward by-election

Unite Against Homophobia

Is there an alternative to global warming?


International socialist news and analysis

Big events will shake Bush win

End This Bloody Occupation

Arafat And The Palestinian Struggle

Fourth general strike in ten months in Nigeria

Volkswagen: Workers Stage Warning Strikes

Ministers Paper Over Growing EU Crises

Musharraf's Hypocrisy Won't End Violence Against Women


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 November 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

EU:

triangleLike rats from a sinking Ukip

triangleBuilding support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections

triangleWhat we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in

triangleTory infighting escalates - workers' action can oust them

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Sweden:

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

triangleSweden: 'Revolution2017' success

triangleInternational news in brief

Socialist Party:

trianglePortsmouth Socialist Party: How can the NHS be defended from the Tories?

triangleYork Socialist Party: Perspectives from the National Commitee

triangleLively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

Socialist:

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: 120 years since the death of Eleanor Marx

CWI:

triangleSouth Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism

Europe:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The new left parties in Europe

Germany:

triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

France:

triangleFrance: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people

European Union:

triangleTories torn - bin them now

John Reid:

triangleSouth London tower block residents plan safety campaign

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/2/18

UCU

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

21/2/18

Strike

German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

21/2/18

Cardiff

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

21/2/18

Nottingham

Nottingham hospital black alert

21/2/18

East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

21/2/18

West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

21/2/18

Wales

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

21/2/18

Bradford

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

21/2/18

May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

21/2/18

Kirklees

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

21/2/18

Salford

Save Salford nurseries!

21/2/18

Caerphilly

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

21/2/18

Council

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

21/2/18

Leicester

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

21/2/18

UCU

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999