European Day of action: Statement of Left MEPs from GUE/NGL on 29/9

"Support European Day of Action against Austerity – 29 September should be day of active struggle, protests and strikes across Europe"

We warmly welcome the initiative by the European Trade Union Confederation to launch 29 September as a European Day of Action around the slogan: “No to austerity – Priority for jobs and growth!”. As representatives of Left parties across Europe, we commit to enthusiastically build for and participate in the actions and demonstrations across Europe on that date.

The onslaught on working people, young people, pensioners, students and the socially excluded clearly calls for Europe-wide solidarity and action. Savage austerity measures have become a common feature across Europe. Wages for public sector workers in Greece have been slashed by between 25% and 30%. The Spanish austerity package involves a €55 billion public spending cuts programme, while Portuguese public sector workers are being hit by a four-year pay freeze and a raising of the retirement age to 67. Merkel’s government in Germany is set to slash €80 billion in the next four years from public spending and the British government is cutting up to 25% in every area of public spending.

Vital struggles against these attacks have erupted across Europe – with massive strikes and demonstrations taking place in Greece, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Common action on September 29 can also play an important role in emphasising the need for workers’ unity against the attempts to divide and rule workers in Europe, such as the demonisation of Greek workers and the whipping up of racist tensions against Roma people in France.

It is vital that September 29 should not be a one-off demonstration in Brussels, but should be a day of active struggle, with mass protests and strikes across Europe. The example of the Spanish union confederation in calling for a general strike on that date should be followed by unions in other countries where the conditions exist for general strikes.

Although the level of struggle is at different stages in different countries, it is vital that the Left and workers’ movement works to build further common actions and protests. In order to defeat the agenda of cutbacks and attacks, it will be necessary to mobilise the power of workers through European-wide industrial action.

  • Build 29 September as a powerful Day of Action across Europe with strikes and mass demonstrations
  • For united action of working people across Europe to defeat the austerity measures – build for further European wide action, including industrial action.
  • Workers, pensioners, the unemployed, students, youth and those socially excluded must not pay for the crisis – Make the super rich and bankers pay
  • No to cutbacks, wage cuts, unemployment, increases in the retirement age and privatisation of public services
  • End the dictatorship of the financial markets, credit ratings institutions and the IMF
  • Stop the bailouts of the banks – nationalise the banks and financial institutions in the interests of working people

Signed by

  • Joe Higgins MEP (Socialist Party – Ireland)
  • Alfred Rubiks MEP (Latvia)
  • Miguel Portas MEP (Left Bloc – Portugal)
  • Marisa Matias MEP (Left Bloc – Portugal)
  • Jürgen Klute MEP (Die Linke – Germany)
  • Sabine Lösing MEP (Die Linke – Germany)
  • Cornelia Ernst MEP (Die Linke – Germany)
  • Sabine Wils MEP (Die Linke – Germany)
  • Gabi Zimmer MEP (Die Linke – Germany)
  • Helmut Scholz MEP (Die Linke – Germany)
  • Nikolaos Chountis MEP (Syriza – Greece)
  • Eva-Britt Svensson MEP (Left Party – Sweden)
  • Willy Meyer MEP (United Left – Spain)

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September 2010