With the General Strike still underway in Oakland, we thought we’d present a perspective from Europe in the form of this excerpt from “Statement of the Party of the European Left ,” an association of 28 leftist parties, reprinted here in spectrezine:
The ambition of the EL is to build a left alternative which gives political perspectives to all struggles. The EL proposes therefore to debate the following proposals:
- We fight against austerity measures and privatisations, which are only useful for creating new markets and profits for the capitalists. The member parties of the European Left have voted against the different national austerity plans in the EU.
- We want to defend, improve and develop public services, in order to fight against inequalities.
- We are strongly opposed to the Euro Pact and the new economic governance, which aim to institutionalise austerity in all European countries.
- We demand public audits on the public debt and the restructuring of the debt on a European level, through the selective cancellation of the public debt, as well as an extension of the reimbursement deadlines, payment facilities (for the pension funds and public deposits) and eurobonds.
- We fight for monetary and economic policies in the service of the people. To respond to the urgency of the situation and also to avoid new crises and build a new development model in Europe, we propose to change the role and the missions of the ECB. The ECB should urgently absorb a part of national public debts. It must also use its power of monetary creation, in order to finance projects for decent job creation (in industry, research, new modes of production etc) and national and European public services.
- In this perspective, the EL will also use the process of a European citizens’ initiative to debate with and propose to European citizens the creation of a European fund for social development and solidarity. Contrary to the European Stability Fund, it should distribute financing for projects on the basis of social and environmental criteria. Funded by the ECB, part of the EU budget and the taxation of financial transactions and revenues, it would free public investments from financial markets and would disarm the speculators.
- The public and democratic control of banks and the financial sector is a tool to impose popular control of the economy. This includes the perspective of the nationalisation of the banks which make their profits from the disaster, such as the Deutsch Bank. Credit, investment choices, financial transactions should not serve speculation but projects which create jobs, safeguard public services and are ecologically sustainable. A publicly-owned pole of credit is a key instrument to this end.
- We fight for a radical redistribution of wealth, a fair fiscal system in countries and in the EU and measures to avoid dumping. Contrary to neoliberal policies that increase the tax for low and middle incomes, we want rich people and revenue from capital to contribute more, and for financial transactions to be taxed. These principles should be harmonised in the EU to avoid fiscal competition against the people. These new resources will permit the EU and national budgets to be increased and become urgently a tool for the reduction of inequalities between the different countries and peoples.
- We demand, together with the trade unions, notably the ETUC, equality of social rights and standards. Enough of the competition between workers that lowers salaries and rights!
- We want wage increases all over Europe, wage equality between men and women and the creation of a European minimum wage, by law or by collective agreement, built up progressively while taking into consideration the individual situations of different countries.
- We want new powers for workers within companies, which would allow them to influence the orientation and organization of their work, including the right to veto plans which involve speculation, restructuring or delocalisation.
- We want tools that allow the workers to struggle against precariousness in their company and to set up employment and training security as fundamental principles of labour laws or collective agreements in European countries. An ‘upward’ harmonization of labour law could help avoid social dumping. This could be done to begin with through a ‘clause of the most-favoured European’, as the feminists claim in relation to women’s rights< ” href=”http://europedesfemmes.cafebabel.com/en/post/2008/03/12/The-most-favoured-European-Woman-Rule%3E”>http://europedesfemmes.cafebabel.com/en/post/2008/03/12/The-most-favoure….
- We want real democracy in Europe. We are fighting against the authoritarian and repressive policies of a series of national governments and of the EU leadership. The repression and the prevalence of unelected bodies such as the IMF or others which are not subject to democratic control, such as the ECB, must end. Popular participation in all its forms (public debates, European citizens’ initiative, referendums…) must be at the heart of European institutional mechanisms. The powers of all elected bodies, including local, national and the European parliaments, must be strengthened.
- Real democracy at all levels can guarantee financial responsibility, transparency and allow job creation, maintaining social rights, male-female equality, reduction of poverty and precariousness and the respect of migrants’ rights. Democracy can open the path to all the social changes which European societies need today. For this to happen, current EU treaties would have to be radically transformed, on the basis of peoples’ needs and democracy, by decisions ratified through referenda, with the primary goal of getting rid of the neoliberal model and securing democracy.