January 2012, Week 2


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Sat, 14 Jan 2012 16:28:22 -0500
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Address to the European Workers

By Jean-Luc Melenchon and Oskar Lafontaine

European Left News
December 14, 2011


With the current leaders of the European Union, we are
heading for disaster.

For years now they have been conceding more and more
power to high finance. The outcome is catastrophic. The
environment has been sacrificed and unemployment has
literally exploded. Wage earners are being pressurized
and impoverished. The real economy has become hostage
to the banks.

And now, pretexting the crises that they themselves
have created, European governments intend to pursue and
tighten austerity measures. Under pressure from Angela
Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, they have decided to
concoct a new treaty which will deny the European
people their right to freely decide their budgets and
impose tighter regulations throughout Europe. Not one
of them plans on asking the people for their opinion on
such a fundamental text. This is a headlong rush into a
Europe of austerity. Since Europe cannot exist without
or against the will of the people, we therefore demand
that a referendum be called throughout our different
countries concerning this future treaty

Sarkozy and Merkel want to extend the disastrous 2010
programme, a programme which has severely deteriorated
the situation of German workers, to all of Europe.
Their aim is to heighten competition between European
wage earners and to level down the rights which have
made Europe one of the world's most socially advanced
regions. This strategy deliberately pits European
citizens against each other. In fact, Sarkozy and
Merkel have not hesitated an instant in fanning the
flames of nationalism and xenophobia, at the risk of
reopening old wounds. Merkel's entourage speaks of
forcing the Greeks to sell their islands. Sarkozy
speaks of the new arrivals in the euro zone as poisoned
pills. These provocative remarks are aimed at diverting
the anger of the people away from the real culprits,
the banks, high finance and the political leaders who
have relinquished their power to them We call upon you
to resist with all your might against the decline of
our European civilisation.

We urge you not to fall into this trap, a trap that
threatens peace across Europe. Together, let us
preserve the friendship between our two peoples, the
Germans and the French, because sustaining peace
throughout Europe depends on it.

How can we guarantee peace in Europe? Peace cannot be
decreed. It is cultivated through cooperation between
peoples, its purpose is to serve all. It is
incompatible with the domination of two arrogant heads
of government over the rest. It must rely on politics
that serve the general European interest. The time has
come to take control in order to meet the needs and
aspirations of the great mass of the population and
therefore of the workers of Europe: the sharing of
wealth, the protection and enlargement of the right to
a decent retirement, the recovery of public services,
the eradication of insecurity, the relentless struggle
against poverty and inequality, and ecological

We urge the European workers not to give up! Finance
can do nothing against a determined people. True wealth
is the fruit of human labour. By their mobilization,
European workers can  put an end to the financial
orgies. And start building, at last, a world which is
finally human.

Oskar Lafontaine  is former co-chairman of The Left
party of Germany, De Linke

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the co-president of the Left
Party of France, Parti de gauche


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