Greece and Ireland: A tale of two bankrupt states

6 May 2010

Yesterday in Athens tens of thousands of Greek workers took part in another general strike against the austerity measures being imposed by the Greek government at the behest of the European Union. Throughout Greece millions of workers took part in the general strike to show their opposition to these anti-people and anti-democratic policies. 
    The establishment media have focused on the tragic loss of three workers’ lives in an attempt to isolate Greek workers and to inoculate other European workers for the intense battle now under way. The threat of the example shown by the Greek workers clearly terrifies the political and economic establishments throughout the European Union. 
    The Irish establishment, at the behest of the European Union, is using the apparent compliance of the Irish people with the savage cuts in wages and conditions and in the services they rely upon to continue pushing through these measures as the example that all workers throughout the European Union should and must follow. 
    They touted the values and strategy of the so-called “Celtic Tiger” model of “light-touch regulation” and privatisation—a happy harvesting ground for transnational corporations, not just in Europe but around the world—as the best and the only way forward. They now continue to tout these polices as the solution to dealing with the stinking carcase of that tiger in the form of massive cuts in workers’ terms and conditions and cuts in services, not just for Ireland but for the whole of Europe. We now have a new TINA—“There is no alternative.” 
    Irish workers need to learn the lesson and follow the leadership shown by Greek workers and mobilise and resist this Government, and the first step is to reject the flawed “Croke Park deal.”