Portugal General Strike: This is What Austerity Looks Like
November 15, 2012
Excerpt from “The Strike in Southern Europe”:
A storm is brewing in Southern Europe. In Greece on November 6 and 7 another general strike will take place. On November 14 Portuguese, Cypriot, Spanish and Italian trade unions intend to go on strike in opposition to the austerity policies of the European Union. Belgian and British trade unions, as well as the European and German trade union confederations, are also calling for action. If the mobilization is successful, this transnational strike will be a milestone in the formation of a European protest movement desperately needed to prevent the final demolition of the European welfare states…
Events in Southern Europe show the political strike to be an indispensable tool for self-defence. What the EU and the International Monetary Fund are demanding of states such as Greece and Portugal has nothing to do with neutral crisis management, but is rather brutal class struggle executed from above. Cutbacks and elimination of government services are targeted only at ordinary people. Only sales taxes are being increased, while high incomes and economic assets are spared, and corporations are relieved of tax obligations. But that’s not all. In order to implement even more drastic reductions in wages, workers and their organizations are being weakened and deprived of rights. In such a situation political strikes can serve as the last line of self-defence.