The past week has seen massive threats to the passing of the Austerity Treaty across Europe, and has shown a clear and decisive shift away from the austerity agenda.
In Holland the Dutch government fell because of the austerity it was supposed to implement, and the passing of the Austerity Treaty is now called into question there. In France, the winner of the presidential race, Francois Hollande has stated that the treaty as it currently stands will not be passed. In Italy, the biggest party in the Italian government, PDL, has called for the Treaty to be amended.
The Greek election results represent a failure of austerity. The two main establishment parties New Democracy and PASOK have been smashed electorally because of their implementaion of the Troika programme. PASOK fell behind Syriza, a coalition of left parties opposed to the austerity agenda. There is a lesson here for Fine Gael and Labour – that this is the future that will confront them!
Michael Noonan, though, has managed to take the wrong lessons from this. He commented on the soup kitchens which have been set up to feed some of the population who have been driven into poverty by the vicious austerity policies that have been implemented – someow he concluded that this was a warning for the Irish people to quietly accept the medicine of austerity which is killing the patient! There are lessons to be learnt from Greece but tis is not one of them.
The lesson to be learnt is that it is ordinary people who will be sacrificed in the name of austerity. The second ‘bailout’ that the government have put forward as an ‘insurance policy’ is no such thing. The Greek people have experienced what a second ‘bailout’ looks like and the results have been disasterous.
These events present Ireland with an opportunity to strike a decisive blow against the Austerity Treaty by voting ‘No’ in massive numbers on May 31st. This should be seen as part of a European-wide rejection of austrity and a step in the fight back against austerity, and to fight for a different type of Europe that puts the interests of the millions before the millionaires.