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No to a Corporate Europe : For a Europe of Solidarity and Workers Rights
We are calling on workers and trade unionists to vote no to the Nice treaty on June 7th. We are for a Europe in which the social structures are based on the needs of the working people, the vast majority of the population and not on the plans of a handful of powerful multi-national corporations. The Europe of the Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice treaties is governed by hugely unpopular neo-liberal economic policies. Policies which have been adopted by stealth, as they cannot be put honestly before the people who would reject them, as, surely as Thatcherism was in Britain or the policies of the PD's are in Ireland. These Euro-Thatcherite dogmas are incorporated into EU law as if the core values of capitalism; egotism and naked greed, are the natural order of society, an order that cannot be changed or challenged. We reject this totalitarian concept and call for workers to support the values and traditions of their own class. Unity solidarity and socialism, as opposed to exploitation and social Darwinism promoted by multinational capital. Workers have no future under the neo-liberal laws of the EU. That is why there is no debate and no vote on these treaties in the rest of the EU countries. Why would workers support the consolidation of a social and economic model hostile to their interests into the indefinite future? A social system in which workers compete each against the other in a race to the bottom and in which the remaining features of civilized life; public services, health care, education and publicly owned utilities become the objects of speculation and asset stripping by tax exile tycoons and multi-nationals.
The fact that the only vote on the Nice treaty is taking place in one of the smallest states in the EU says a lot for the democratic content of the new Europe. In fact we only have a vote because the government cannot avoid one, as they did when they joined Partnership for Peace.
The main driving force behind the various EU treaties has been the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), which represents 47 European based multi-nationals. It composed the first draft enlargement plans, the first plans for the Single European market, the Maastricht Treaty and Monetary Union. As noted above the economic policies promoted by the ERT in these treaties, privatization and deregulation are the laws under which EU operates. Not only have the people of the EU countries not had any opportunity to vote on these laws but where they express a preference by voting out, right- wing free-market governments in favour of left alternatives, in Britain, France, Germany etc. their will is frustrated by having the same policies imposed by the alternative social democratic governments. The citizens of the EU can effectively no longer vote for alternative economic and social policies in elections. This is less a democratic deficit than a democratic black hole. The franchise is emptied of any real substance.
We reject the corrupt sell-off of publicly owned utilities and services, which have been built up over generations by the tax compliant working class. The hype around the sale of Eircom is now shown to be a lie; privatization is no more than a rip-off of assets belonging to the taxpayers by our tax dodging golden circles. The call by the ICTU leaders for trade unionists to support these policies is a scandal. As is their support for an EU military wing to defend such an anti-worker regime. The people who built the trade union movement did not do so to support their unfettered dominance by the likes of the Dennis O' Briens or Michael O' Leary's of this world. James Connolly's call to the working class was, we only want the earth ; not lets support the rule of free market capitalism and shower our tax money on its war mongering military machine.
Vote NO! and begin to rebuild a workers movement which reflects the best traditions of the working class, and with a leadership not mortgaged to capitalism.