Brothers and sisters. It’s already been three years since this false economic crisis hit us, ruining our cities, breaking down our communities and threatening to finish with the few opportunities left to lead a worthy life. We are talking about a fake crisis, fake because the big companies and financial elites of our continent have gotten their accounts into shape and are back to even higher profit rates than before 2007. This amazing “recovery” has been produced mainly at our expense, based on a furious attack on states’ social expenditures and the wages of European workers.
The last wave of this offensive has taken the shape of a sovereign debt crisis. The same financial agents, the big European banks, that drove the speculative bubbles (in real estate as well as in the stock market) that devastated the continent in the 2000’s are now the main beneficiaries of having half of Europe in jeopardy. Today, buying Greek, Irish or Portuguese (now also Italian, Spanish or Belgian) public debt is one of the best deals in the world. You simply borrow form the European Central Bank at a rate of 1% or 1,5% and buy debt from those countries at a 6, 8, 10 or even 15% rate. In front of this financial plundering, the politicians’ chauvinism and the supposed competition among countries, marked by principles of the market and competitiveness, seems like a bad joke. This is not about penalizing the lack of responsibility of the South- and East-European countries or punishing the high degree of corruption in certain countries. We know too well that corruption is running free in Greece as much as among the French and German politicians in Brussels that follow the dictates of politics established by the financial lobbies. We also know that the working day in Germany is as long as in the so called “peripheral” countries, and is unbearable after three decades of precarization of the labour market. We know, at last, that even if the “poor” countries in Europe do their “homework” as assigned by the neoliberal agenda (privatizations, social cuts, increased precarization of working conditions), they will still be punished by the financial agents and their Praetorian Guard, the rating agencies. In fact, the intention is to fatten up a handful of large corporations, even at the expense of the well-being of whole societies. And in this there are no differences between countries, this business works for the Banco de Santander, that buys Portuguese and Spanish debt, as well as for the Deutsche Bank, that buys Greek and Italian debt. This and no other is the mechanism of the big bail-out of the European banks.
Brothers and sisters. You too are paying the bill of this crisis. In fact the differences are just a question of nuances, like the poor man who takes comfort in seeing another man, poorer than him, feeding on what he could afford to reject. The austerity politics of Frau Merkel have multiplied poverty in your own country, your salaries have been at a standstill for more than a decade and social spending has decreased more than in any other country. Soon, your social State will be as precarious as the meridional countries. That is the price of the urgency of the economic competitiveness and the war between countries.
For those who would prefer to hold on to the unstoppable pace of the German economic engine, events will soon bring them back to reality. In the short-term, who will buy the expensive German products in an impoverished Europe? What kind of “German” solution is possible if not the same adjustment politics, austerity and precarization advocated for the rest of Europe? As big as Germany seems, it is one of the provinces of the interdependent European continent. To put it simply, the solution to the crisis will be European or it won’t be. The miserable times of European nationalisms, always so provincial, are not only behind us but also they are the ideological scarecrows of the most pathetic populisms.
Nevertheless, and despite the constant news about the ever more aggressive attacks from the financial elites, the situation couldn’t be more propitious. In Greece, Portugal, Spain and the whole southern coast of the Mediterranean indignation and self-organization have risen up, without the mediation of knelt down unions or the corporative (when not straight forward corrupt) politic apparatus, a movement that is able to confront their respective governments face to face. The demands are already pointing to a vast program of the distribution of wealth at a European and Mediterranean level: control and supervision over capital movements and incomes, fiscal unification in all European countries, redistribution programs to recuperate the universality of basic rights, etc. In this context, there is no reason why the German piece would have to prop up the despotic administration of the financial elites. It could rather be the cherry in the first global revolution that vanquished the tyranny of finances and its despotic and exclusive management of a wealth that, as much as they deny it, has a common character and condition.
Like in Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Spain and Portugal, we invite you to join the only real positive solution, brothers, sisters, join the Mediterranean revolution, for a #europeanrevolution… Rise up!