8 May 2012
The election results from France and Greece clearly indicate that the peoples throughout the European Union are demanding change, demanding a new direction from their governments. Endless open-ended austerity has been rejected.
The euphoria surrounding the election of Hollande in France is misplaced and will be short-lived. While it is clear that the people want change, can the system itself deliver relief to the people?
The difficulties within the system are intensifying and deepening, and neither election result can bring long-term stability. Rather it is clear that we are moving into a period of increased instability and growing poverty and inequality, with more anti-democratic measures being used to secure the survival of the system.
Here in Ireland it is clear that, as with their counterparts in France and Greece, people are fed up with cuts and austerity. The people will have the opportunity to pass a verdict on the prioritisation of debt repayments, the bailing out of German and French banks and the imposed austerity by rejecting the permanent austerity treaty on the 31st of May.
It is now incumbent upon the trade union movement to come forward in a united opposition against this treaty and to cut loose the anchor of the Labour Party, which is dragging it down an endless spiral of cuts and job losses, the result of which will be a weakening of the trade union movement even further, endangering its very existence as a body relevant to the lives and interests of Irish workers.