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The Crisis of European Capitalism

As we take a break for the summer, we publish this special statement produced by our international sister website, In Defence of Marxism, on the Euro-crisis. The crisis of the euro resembles a long drawn-out death agony. There is one “decisive” summit after another, each proclaiming a definitive end to the euro crisis. The markets rally for a few hours or days and then fall once more. The index of the European stock markets resembles a thermometer that tracks the process of a terminally sick patient. This turbulence in the markets is an accurate reflection of the state of mind of the bourgeoisie, characterized by extreme nervousness. This in turn is a reflection of the fact that the present crisis is unparalleled in its scope. The bourgeoisie finds itself adrift in uncharted waters with no map or compass.

Greek elections aftermath: Fragile victory for ruling class; SYRIZA is enormously strengthened

The Greek and international bourgeois media orchestrated a huge terror campaign, painting a picture of economic chaos and collapse if Syriza were to win the elections. Thus, by a small margin, New Democracy (ND) scraped into first place. However, the rise of Syriza, despite all this, indicates the continuing shift to the left in Greek society. Now ND will attempt to form a coalition government with the PASOK, which will be one of continued austerity. Nothing has been solved; the problem has only been postponed. All the conditions are being prepared for a victory of Syriza in the near future. Here we publish a comment on the elections, written by the Greek Marxists in the course of today.

The crisis in Europe: A decisive turn in the situation (Fred Weston speaking tour)

The elections in France and Greece represent a fundamental change in the situation. The crisis of European capitalism has entered a new and turbulent stage. A mood of anger is sweeping across Europe.  Fightback (Canada) and La Riposte (Quebec) are pleased to bring Fred Weston, the managing editor of the popular In Defence of Marxism website, for a speaking tour of Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto.  In preparation for next week's tour, we are publishing this article by Alan Woods on the European crisis, and what the recent French and Greek elections mean for the world working class.

Greek government on verge of collapse; For a workers' government!

As we write these lines the Papandreou government is staggering towards collapse. In a matter of days the whole situation has been thrown into turmoil. Only last week, eurozone leaders were congratulating each other on agreeing a €100bn loan to Athens and a 50% write-off of its mountain of debt. Governments cheered. Stock exchanges rose on the announcement of the deal. And politicians breathed a sigh of relief. A few days later and everything turned into its opposite. The Greek deal was rapidly unravelling. Markets were tumbling. Governments were cursing. And politicians were predicting imminent disaster for the euro.

Italy: 500,000 protest against ECB and austerity measures

On October 15 Rome saw one of the biggest demonstrations of the last few years in Italy. Up to half a million people flooded the streets of the capital. Not only was this a huge demonstration in terms of the numbers taking part, but even more significantly you could hear the most radical slogans of the last decade. The masses, inspired by Athens, Madrid and New York, chanted “we don’t want to pay the debt”, “No to austerity”, “No to the dictatorship of the ECB (European Central Bank) and the banks”, etc.

The riots in Britain: A warning to the bourgeoisie

The riots in Britain are only a symptom of a general crisis of capitalism.  The Marxists will not join with the bourgeoisie and its agents in their hypocritical chorus of denunciation. Our duty is to find a road to the youth, to help them to find the right road – the revolutionary road, the road to the socialist reconstruction of society.

The French workers are on the move

The magnificent movement of the French workers is an inspiration to the workers of all Europe and the world. It shows the real face of the French working class. Strikes forced the closure of all six of the Total oil group's refineries, threatening fuel shortages. Eleven out of the 12 refineries in France have now been affected by strike action. In the oil terminal port of Fos-Lavera near Marseilles, the strike is now in its eighteenth day, leaving oil tankers stranded at sea unable to unload their cargoes.

Britain’s contradictory election results: Unstable situation opens up

Last week’s British elections results have posed a dilemma before the British ruling class. They wanted a strong Tory government to introduce draconian anti-working class measures. The electorate denied them that pleasure. Now they are seeking to patch together some form of government that can guarantee them the same programme, but on a much more unstable base.

The myth of the "lazy Greek workers"

Since the crisis in Greece has hit the headlines there have appeared in the bourgeois media many stories about how Greece has too many civil servants, how the working week is very short, how people retire early on fat pensions, and so on, as if this were the cause of the crisis. Facts and figures, however, can be very stubborn things and they tell a completely different story.