European unions campaign against austerity
The leadership of the European Union – Governments and the European Commission – have decided that Europe’s future depends on two things: cuts to public expenditure and reductions in workers’ wages, rather than measures to promote growth. As former financier Sony Kapoor has pointed out, this is a strange conclusion to reach – was the global economic crisis caused by profligate Governments or greedy workers? No: so how come tackling those ‘issues’ is the solution to a crisis caused, as even the IMF admit, by inequality? The ETUC has developed a serious rebuttal of the austerity approach, detailed information about each country’s cuts packages, the policy alternative to austerity, and now a serious campaign to oppose austerity on the streets and in the Ministries:
- March 21 – Berlin: the DGB are arranging a demonstration in front of the Chancellery from 12 to 2 on Monday, March 21
- March 22 – Paris: there will be a presentation of a Franco-German trade union text, probably to the French Finance Ministry. There will be a press conference in Berlin on March 24 on the same subject.
- March 23 – Amsterdam: a meeting with Ministers to discuss economic governance is planned.
- March 24 – Brussels: a rally/assembly in the Rue de La Loi, Brussels (near the venue of the European Summit) with colleagues from Belgium and neighbouring countries. This will coincide with the Tripartite Social Summit and additionally we are exploring if there is an opportunity to address the Summit itself.
- March 26 – London: the TUC are organizing a “March for the Alternative – Jobs, Growth and Justice” on March 26 in London (assemble at 11 am, Victoria Embankment to march to Hyde Park). Details are available at www.tuc.org.uk/march.
- April 9 – Budapest: a demonstration (with other actions around Europe) aimed at the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union.