The Hour of Truth for Europe (editorial newsletter)

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About 100 days after a new government was elected in Greece in order to fight austerity, the new anti-austerity left wing in Spain, born of social movements, experienced historic victories. Is this the beginning of the end of austerity in Europe? One cannot yet be sure.

By Felipe Van Keirsbilck (representative Alter Summit and General Secretary of CNE)
June 2015

Early returns on the action in Syriza are necessarily complex and contradictory. Three great challenges were in play: Greece has long suffered injustices and inequities (fiscal, among others); the 5 years under the Troyka destroyed the structures of production and the social system; and the European "partners" seem to be doing all they can to break down the Greek government.

Thus a failure of this government is not impossible; another lead weight of austerity will fall on us all, and on any new administration that may be created in any region of Spain.

It is in the light of this European battle that the early results of the first 100 days of the Tsipras government can be sketched out: some promises kept, others not ... But more important than considering results, it is time for mobilization. Because the pressure of all Europe is at a maximum on the Greek government, the very reason for the largest part of the deceptions of these 100 days. The European institutions and those who call for budgetary "rigor" are turning blue with fear of the Greek example, as they have no intention to allow anyone to open a way alternative to austerity. All means are good means to impose upon Europeans the headlong rush to neo-liberalism.

As Tassos Koronakis, secretary of the Central Commitee of Syriza, has said, the hour of truth has come for Europe: it is thus that he calls to social forces to mobilize for Greece and against austerity. Last May 2nd in Athens more than 40 European organizations joined together and decided on a series of actions against austerity and in solidarity with the Greek people.

Between the 20th and the 26th of June, a week of action will mobilize the European social movements (read the call to action in this newsletter). It is an historical occasion, a first effort to join our national struggles in clear support of the Greek people, with their social movements and with the anti-austerity position of their government.

Other actions will follow in Paris this autumn, concerning Greece, concerning the debt, against the TTIP and austerity, and in regard to the climate. Far from being separate matters, debt, Greece, climate, and austerity fall on one side of a clear line: the interests of the people against those of the banks and the multinationals. It is in face of these determined adversaries that our task is to relentlessly construct the unity of European social movements.