As soon as the European imperialist bourgeoisie decreed, some years ago, that the free circulation of capitals and the Euro meant “the end of frontiers in Europe”, it did not take long before they started building up walls, electric fences and controls everywhere. The horror show refugees are subjected to in the Balkan frontiers, with children suffocated by gas by the police, and left to their own luck right in the “human rights continent”, inspires the British premier to give the reason to the UKIP, that states the European workers in the UK are “third class citizens” and cannot enjoy the same rights of banks and companies when they leave their countries.
By Ricardo Ayala and Gabriel Huland.
The recent agreement that gives “special status” to the United Kingdom inside the EU is the clearest demonstration that the Troika is more interested in assuring capital’s benefits than assuring people’s benefits. The UK can now discriminate workers because of their passports; it will not have the obligation of accomplishing the European regulations, and will have economic-financial autonomy to maintain a privileged relationship with North American capitals in London City.
The right to take advantage of inequalities (that become deeper) among the European countries is reserved to the financial capital, which pays low salaries and privatizes for extreme low prices, and in some countries even sack the peoples for free. However, workers that migrate cannot enjoy the same rights as the British, even though they pay for social security and other taxes.
It is one among many other facts that show the EU as an imperialism machine against the working class of the continent to impose a historical regression, an instrument of sacking and submission of the outskirts, in favor of the financial capital of the European central countries and the USA.
After what happened in Greece, Varoufakis, the Minister of Finances of Tsipras government, started a pan – European movement called Plan B for Europe. The manifesto is signed, among others, by Ada Colau, Barcelona’s Mayor, and several deputies from Podemos, in the Spanish State; Francisco Louçã and several deputies from the “Bloco de Esquerda”, in Portugal; Mélenchon, from the “Parti de Gauche”, in France; Stefano Fassina, former deputy of the Democratic Party and former Vice – Minister of Economy and Treasure, in Italy; also by Stathis Kouvelakis, from the Popular Unit, in Greece. The manifesto clearly exposes the goals of the movement: to make an appeal for building a European space of convergence against austerity, and for the construction of a real democracy. In February, Plan B made its first European conference, in Madrid.
The other face of European Imperialism: xenophobia and intolerance
After the reactionary attacks at the airport and the subway station, in Brussels, almost simultaneously there were attacks against refugees, reception centers, mosques and Muslim symbols. The ultra-right has free pass to perform without punishment. In Germany, dozens of Refugee Centers were burned down. In Belgium, Neo-Nazis groups attacked a spontaneous and pacific concentration against the attacks.
The biggest stimulator of ultra – right groups is the State terrorism, officially practiced by the EU authorities against refugees. EU’s agreement with Turkey legalizes mass detentions and deportations of refuges to this country, which has just been considered ‘a safe country’ by the Greek parliament. Since the beginning of the refugee crisis, we have observed with perplexity the deaths and disappearing of children, the apprehension of asylum solicitants’ belongings, and their relocation in camps lacking any kind of basic infrastructure.
The EU is obsessed to stop the immigrants flux to Europe immediately, and so it militarizes the frontiers and sends millionaire amounts of money to Greece and Turkey in order to turn these two countries into open-air detention fields.
The institutions of the EU encourage racism, which it is not about isolated manifestations of some specific groups. This is the other face of imperialism. Behind the hypocrite speech in defense of Human Rights, peace and democratic freedom, there are these attitudes that encourage hate, xenophobia and aggression against foreigners and refugees.
Plan B: a “democratic revolution”
The strategy posed by the Plan B is nothing further than being the last trench of defense of the EU and the Euro, adapted to the construction of parliamentary majorities to renegotiate EU’s pacts. This is re-founding the EU, matching the needs of the secondary bourgeoisies’ needs and without differentiating themselves from the European imperialism, exactly like Mélenchon when he mortgages his support to France’s colonial in Asia.
For this, they propose building anti – austerity governments in all Europe. However, regarding the most recent anti – austerity government, in Greece, which featured the negotiations with EU during last year, the Plan maintains its speech about what happened in the Hellenic country was a coup of the EU against Tsipras government. The plan B manifesto states:
“In July 2015, we watched a financial coup d’état made by European Union and its institutions against the Greek government… On July 13th, the European Union overthrew Alex Tsipras government, democratically elected. July 13th’s agreement is, in fact, a coup d’état. It was possible thanks to the closing of Greek banks by the Central Bank of Europe [CBE] and thanks to the threaten of not authorizing them to open again as long as the Greek government does not accept a new version of a program that had already failed”.
No matter how many articles, interviews and statements they give to explain the alleged “coup”, or to defend “there is no favorable relation of forces to break with the Euro”, it is not possible to get a different conclusion than this one: facing the intransigence of the Troika and the categorical posture of Greek people, that said NO many times, Syriza (together with Podemos, Bloco de Esquerda and the French Front Gauche) made a clear option for the intransigence of imperialism when they refused to defend the people’s sovereignty and the result of the referendum, selling the false idea that there was no other alternative.
The vague expression “anti – austerity governments” has a frame; it means governments whose main task would be breaking with the logic of austerity, summed up in budget cuts and counter – reforms, so the continent can retake the track of economic growth, so workers can recover their conquers inside the current laws and bourgeois institutions. So, no rupture of class whatsoever.
This “song” has “enchanted” many activists and strugglers against the cuts, and a wide number of workers.
However, this ruling “formula” hides what is essential; the actual content of the anti – austerity governments: they do not propose a rupture with the bourgeoisie, and for the dominated countries, not even with the imperialism. On the contrary, they propose the defense of the EU all the way, as synonym of ‘integration of European peoples’. The alliances would match the program: Syriza with ANEL, the support of Bloco de Esquerda and PCP to the government of the PS, in Portugal, and the attempt of Podemos to share a government with the PSOE, in the Spanish State. Varoufakis himself became an assessor of the British Labour Party form the hand of Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the British Labourism. The LP is the same party of Tony Blair, of the Third Way, and of the Iraq war.
However, this way of governing is not restricted to a cold written program: it became a reality in Greece and in most cities of Spanish State. The program of the parties that defend this strategy has become concrete: Syriza’s government was the first anti – austerity government in Europe. During its electoral campaign, Tsipras stated that one Bill in the Greek Parliament would be enough to end austerity.
The fundamental explanation of the facts should be looked for precisely where Syriza, Podemos, Bloco de Esquerda and a list of many others want to hide it: whose class interests Syriza has succumbed to? Even though these organizations and their intellectuals in turn erase the social classes from their books and speeches, replacing them by the interests of “citizenship,” they cannot erase classes from reality.
To end austerity there is no other solution than the massive mobilization of the working class and youth against the ones that sink us in catastrophe. We cannot end it if we do not know whom we are struggling against: the ‘Europe of the capital’ and the bourgeoisie of each one of our countries.
The ‘Europe of the capital’ led us to a catastrophe that gets deeper every time, and there is no possible reform of the EU: it is necessary to break with it. The working class must take the course of its destiny to then open the way of the United Europe of Workers and People. This is our struggle.
A categorical denial to any kind of class categorization
From the diagnostic of crises it emerges a policy. To the signatories of Plan B, the causes of the crises are “dysregulation of the financial system, and corporative capture of the EU’s institutions through big lobbies”.
SO the policy could not be other than a fair tax policy and the closure of tax heavens, systems of complementary interchanges, re-municipalization of public services, equal share of all jobs, including dignified precautions, betting on a model of production based on renewable sources, and the reform or annulment of the European fiscal covenant – officially, Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Givernance in the Economic and Monetary Union.
Not one word about labour reforms, the unacceptable unemployment or the necessary reduction of work-shifts. As if the Greek experience was not enough, when the possibility of ending austerity is given, the Mayor of Barcelona does not do it. Subway workers in Barcelona went to struggle against casualty of the contracts and the internalization of services, and to recover the value of salaries, frozen since 2010. The Plan B Mayor, disappointing many, confronted the strike and called the vindications “excessive”. As if this was not enough, the privatization of Barcelona railways is being perpetrated by the City Hall.
While the Bloco de Esquerda supports the PS government, a third part of Portuguese workers earn, according to the Institute of National Statistics, 310 to 900 euros. More than two million earn 600 to 900 euros. In the Spanish State the situation is not so different, with an exorbitant growth of precarious contracts, the implementation of reforms that make demission easier, and a number of unemployed higher than five million.
In Greece, where the economic crisis joins the refugee drama, the situation is equally serious. The country saw a quarter of its wealth disappear during the years of recession, and now unemployment reaches 26% (the double, among youth), and the public debt gets to 180% of its GDP. More than 50% of the retired population is poor, and they have become the main breadwinner of half the families.
It is only based on an alleged neutrality of the EU that the defenders of Plan B can justify its reactionary re – foundation proposal. This attempts to confuse the activists with the impossible perspective of transforming this terrible weapon of social war and sacking by the European imperialist bourgeoisie into a “progressive” instrument for the European people.
 A Plan B for Europe. Call to build a European space of convergence against austerity and for the construction of a real democracy. Un Plan B para Europa.
 ANEL: Party of Independent Greek, conservative and Eurosceptic.
 Portuguese Comunist Party.
 Socialist Party.
 Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party).
Originally published in Spanish, by Corriente Roja (Spanish State) – www.corrienteroja.net
Translation by: Mariana Soléo.