29/08 The effects of the global crisis in Europe: Willem Bos and Alex Merlo

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1. The crisis in Europe

Outline

  • Limitations, of the report
    • Based on limited experiences, focused at the EU and not on broader Europe.
    • Lack of a European policy of the FI.
  • Summary of the character of the crisis
    • Capitalism = periodical crisis, short cycles and long waves.
    • 1930, great depression, 1946-1974-5 golden years, 1980-neoliberalisme.
    • Characteristics of neoliberalisme: Liberalization, privatization, globalization, changes in international division of labour, financialisation, role of debt. Serious setbacks for word working class.
    • 2007, subprime crisis, financial crisis, economic crisis, sovereign debt crisis, crisis of the euro system.
    • Background: environment crisis, global warming.
  • The European context.
    • EU as an economic project.
    • Passing by democracy.
    • The forming of the euro zone, and his consequences.
    • Concurrence in the field of labour wages etc. and the environment.
    • Growing differences between North and South (and East and West).
  • The European ‘solution’
    • Let the people pay, let the system function again.
    • Putting aside democracy.
    • Heavy austerity programs, dept pump for indebted countries.
    • Debate in Europe:
    • Euro bonds, economic government, strict norms, etc.
    • Is a debate on how to make working class pay for the crisis.
  • Consequences:
    • Economically: no solution.
    • Democratically: unacceptable.
    • Environmental: disastrously.
    • Rise of xenophobic anti European right, division of the working class.
  • Alternative
    • Anti capitalist solution.
    • Understanding the character of the crisis and de relationship with environmental crisis.
    • Changing the exciting balance of forces.
    • Building movements against austerity plans etc.
    • Programmatically: Internationalist answers, another Europe (world) is possible.

Readings

1. "A crisis without end", Michel Husson

2. Global crisis and the policy reaction in Western and Eastern European Union Özlem Onaran

3. A European strategy for the left Michel Husson

4. Stop payment – Cancel the Debt - Nationalize the banks under workers control - Leave the euro zone and the EU now! Antarsya

5. Facing the debt crisis in Europe Damien Millet, Eric Toussaint

6. Eight key proposals for another Europe Eric Toussaint

2. The struggles in Europe: Balance and Perspectives

Outline

1.Presentation

  • Objectives of the report
  • Limits of the report

2.Balance sheet of the past year

What changed after the World Congress?

A. Strike movements: mobilization against pension reform in France

  • reform of unions
  • the joint union committee
  • renewable strikes
  • mass demonstrations
  • (insufficient) mobilization of youth
  • blockades and general strike
  • inter-professional assemblies and the necessity of self-organization
  • Conclusions:
    • Conditions to win in today's context

B. The movement of the indignants

  • The impact of the revolutions in the Arab world
  • The impact in Europe
  • May-15 in the Spanish State
  • Spontaneousness and organization
  • bureaucracy vs self-organization
  • Social composition of the Movement
  • apolitism and apartyism
  • violence and pacifism
  • international extension of the rebellion

3.Prospects for next school year

  • convergence of movements. Exemple of Greece
  • a general strike?
  • Central events (for now)
  • October 15th
  • London conference against austerity plans
  • elections in Denmark, Spanish State, France

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1.How has the economic crisis affected the activity of your organization? Think about the political orientation of your organization, but also daily activity, recruiting...

2.In your opinion, why has the movement of the indignants spread over Greece but not to other countries? What prospects could there be for such a movement in the rest of Europe?

3.If we can imagine a great victory for our social camp this year, what form would it take? What would be its consequences?

Reading materials