In the face of the all sided attacks on the livelihood and rights of the working class of Europe in theform of "austerity measures", the resistance struggle of the workers is mounting. It is beginning to throw a challenge to the capitalists and their states, as well as all their institutions. The Euro, the big banks, as well as the political systems in various countries are in deep crisis, with the crisis only threatening to engulf more countries in Europe and beyond. The working class of Europe is refusing to be made to pay for the crisis, in order to bail out the banks and financial institutions, or to save United Europe— the Europe of the monopolies.
Recent election results in Europe have shown that the parties in power were extremely discredited, for pursing the policy advocated by the EU, the IMF and other institutions of attacking the workers through "austerity measures". The elections in Greece have resulted in a big defeat for both the main parties which have been hitherto supporting these "austerity measures". It looks most likely that yet another election will have to be called, as no party or coalition has been able to form a government. The elections in France have resulted in the defeat of the regime which was imposing "austerity measures" on the working class in the face of unprecedented protests of the working class and youth. In Italy too, local body elections are revealing the deep anger and opposition of the working class to the "austerity measures".
The unemployment rate in Greece rose to 21.7% in February. In the 15-24 age groups it was a record high: 54%. In comparison, in February 2010, it was 15.2 %. This is the result of the implementation of the bailout packages and austerity measures so far. The working class and youth are convinced that the prescriptions of further austerity measures are a recipe for further massive onslaughts on their livelihood and rights.
In Britain, police officers held one of the biggest demonstrations in recent times. Their demand was to halt cuts and privatisation of the police force, and all the rights that industrial workers enjoy, including the right to organize into unions and to strike work in support of their demands. Over 30,000 policemen participated in the demonstration along with their families, under the banner "Police for public, not for profit". There is immense anger in the ranks of the police officers over cuts in pay, pensions and changes to their working conditions.
In Spain, the Indignados are on the march again. This is a movement of youth that erupted last year all over Spain, in protest against the bankers and their politicians, and against the massive and growing unemployment in their country. Their slogan: “We need to take back all the wealth and redistribute it fairly”. The protestors are in tens of thousands. Scores of cities across Spain are holding protests against politicians and bankers. These events are marking the first anniversary of the movement. The government is cracking down on the protests, preventing the protestors from organizing sit-ins and camps and taking over town squares.
Youth unemployment in Spain stands at 50%. In these conditions, there is widespread anger amongst the working class and youth at the system. One of the major demands of the movement is stopping the proposed budget cuts in health and education. A similar movement is beginning to engulf other countries of Europe, including Portugal, Italy, Belgium and Germany.