Declaration of Athens against the EU

The international anti-EU Forum moves forward with the meeting in Athens on 26-28th of June. Our goal is the proliferation of popular and forces of the Left that fight for social transformation , which are coordinated through the anti-EU forum, as well as the proliferation of the struggles against EU for the withdrawal of the European states from the Eurozone and the imperialist EU.

1. Seven years since the outburst of the financial crisis, we see the European Union becoming even more reactionary, anti-popular and neoliberal. Austerity is the pan-european recipe, and no-one is allowed to question it. The most anti-popular policies are today inscribed in the EU flag and the euro-constitution. This is not just a coincidental direction. Neoliberalism, austerity, the cancellation of social rights, the degradation of the world of work are deeply inscribed in the nature of EU. European Union was at the center of the global crisis and it proved once again that it cannot change, be reformed or be improved. On the contrary, the member states of EU are imposing increasingly harsher policies for the social majority, and increasingly favorable policies for the banks, the large corporations and the oligarchy. Placing our “hope” on the oncoming recovery and the exit from the financial crisis would conceal the fact that all the policies of ECB and eurozone (Draghi’s package, Juncker’s package, the Fiscal Compact) are just postponing the crisis until a more severe episode in the upcoming years.

2. The official statistics regarding poverty, unemployment and social exclusion are all on the rise. Social inequalities are increasing. Job insecurity is worsening. Wages become stagnant and in reality they are devalued. democratic rights are being eliminated. National and popular sovereignty is being reduced. The gap between the EU leadership and the peoples, who are being socially and financially destroyed, is widening. In today’s European Union there is nothing left to remind the legacy of the European enlightenment, the welfare state, the social protection, the liberal democracy, the friendship and cooperation among the peoples. Working classes and European nations have nothing to lose, instead they have already lost a lot and they will lose even more if they keep on following the catastrophic one-way path of EU.
3. The permanent policies of the European Union are those of a tough and rigid neoliberalism: privatizations, austerity, financial deregulation, attack against workforce, support on the capital, corporate subsidies, shrinkage of the public sector and reduced provision of social services. These policies are at the core of EU and they cannot be reformed. They are imposed either with or without social consensus: through financial blackmail and the constant threat of default. There is not anymore such thing as the democratic pretext of voluntary consent of the national parliaments. Under the pretext of sustainability of banks and continuing to be part of the eurozone, the leadership of EU is blackmailing the peoples of Europe in order to keep them at the slaughterhouse of European Integration.

4. Along with social inequalities, inequality between nations continues to increase. Powerful and weak states, states that blackmail others and states that are being blackmailed, define the image of modern-day Europe. Popular sovereignty is eradicated and national sovereignty is undermined by the supranational capital. The goal of maintaining competition leads to an extermination procedure for the weaker nations and convergence gives its place to divergence. E.U. has all the traits of an imperialistic union: contrasts and competition, social and national repression, the survival of the strongest being enforced using modern financial means, the EU’s stringent regulations, the Brussels bureaucracy, as well as the European Central Bank, which is independent of either governments or parliaments.

5. The euro is the most essential tool for the subordination of the states and peoples of Europe. It is by nature a neoliberal currency, as it is based on the hard-core neoliberal provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact. As the recent public debt crisis has shown, especially for the peripheral states of the Union, membership of the Eurozone equals the complete cession of all financial policy tools to the bureaucracy in Brussels and to the dictatorship of the banks. The euro is thus more than a currency. It is the institutional entrenchment of hard-core neoliberalism in the member-states of the Eurozone. Staying in the Eurozone prolongs social dead-ends, increases the national inequalities and equals the destruction of the working class.

6. The absence of an alternative forms the central dogma of the European Union. Social-democratic and labour parties early on accepted the neoliberal hegemony, introducing policies essentially identical to those of conservative, right-wing and Christian-democratic parties. The participation of the communist and radical Left in such governments proved disastrous for the popular classes, while at the same time blurring the historic divide between the Left and the Right. The EU framework never allowed for any policy shifts benefiting the popular classes. At the same time, the support for both the EU and the euro from the part of the vast majority of radical and communist left parties cleared the way for the rise of the far-right and of populist and fascist-leaning parties, who have tried to masquerade themselves as supposed champions of national independence and dignity against the social and economic destruction brought on by the EU. Those parties are also those that appear most Eurosceptic and critical towards European integration. This can explain their dramatic rise in the past few years.

7. The non-negotiable European policy of austerity, financial constriction, primacy of the market and of capitalist interests has been clearly demonstrated in the case of the new Greek government. Despite its statements for moving Greece (and the whole of Europe) to the left, and despite being elected on an anti-austerity and anti-Memoranda platform of ending austerity and putting an end to the “Memoranda” policies, the SYRIZA government tried to compromise with the EU. It accepted the core principles of the Troika austerity program with privatizations, social security cuts, wage cuts, increases of indirect taxes that hit the poorest classes. It accepted fiscal budget surpluses that aggravate economic depression and deepen austerity. The Greek government entangled in its myth about progressive solutions within the EU failed to challenge its framework, did not fight for the exit and disengagement of Greece from the EU and condemned Greece to follow neoliberal policies. However, even this ameliorated version of the Troika austerity program was unacceptable for the EU. The simmering popular discontent against these capitulations obliged the SYRIZA government to break the negotiations and call for a referendum against the Troika proposals. The referendum presents a very important opportunity for a massive vote of NO, not only to the creditors proposals but also to the Euro and EU and send a message of hope and struggle all over Europe.

8. We need a program in behalf of the rights of nations, people and the working classes:

I. Exit from the eurozone, enforcement of barriers on capital flows, price control policy.

II. Radical redistribution of income and wealth, in favor of the working classes, peasants, and middle classes and against big capital.

III. Economical social planning by the state, productive reconstruction, nationalization of banks and of strategic enterprises. Improvement of public health, social security, public service, natural environment

IV. Recuperation of popular and social sovereignty. Abolition of every regulation, institution and law that removes from the people the possibility to decide.

V. Denial and cancellation of the public debt

VI. No to the TTIP agreement.

VII. No to the imperialist policies of the EU and NATO against the peoples. Solidarity with the struggling people in Donbass, Ukrain. Solidarity to the anti-imperialist struggles for national liberation in the Middle East.

VIII. Exit from suprarnational organizations that preserve the neoliberal status quo such as NATO, IMF, World Bank, the WTO and of course the European Union and the Eurozone. Soli

9. The International anti-EU Forum that took place in Athens is committed to the further development of coordination initiatives between movements, fronts, political parties and organizations that fight against the European Union. Such an initiative for the next few months could be working towards a a pan-European campaign called „EU dissolves Europe- dissolve EU“ that will be completed at the next meeting of the International anti-EU Forum that will be organized the winter of 2015-2016.