The most striking feature of the presidential election campaign in France is the massive support shown for the Front de Gauche
(Left Front) under the leadership of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Long before
the campaign was really underway, there were clear signs that the most
conscious and active layer of the working class was mobilising around
the Front de Gauche.
The French and German governments have been hard at work over the last
few weeks berating the Greeks for being unable to organise their
finances. Now, according to reports in today's press, it turns out that
these self same governments have been pushing hard to get the Greek
government to spend like mad - on arms.
Conditions in Greece are becoming
desperate as unemployment continues to rise, wages and pensions are
slashed, many small businesses close and the country slides towards a
likely disorderly default. The pressure on ordinary working people is
February 11 saw 300,000 people march
in the Portuguese capital Lisbon against the reform of the labour law
and the austerity measures proposed by the government as part of the
bailout agreed with the troika. The CGTP trade union, which
organised the demonstration under the slogan of “no to exploitation,
inequality and impoverishment”, described it as the largest in 30 years.
The Greek crisis has now reached the point of a pre-revolutionary
situation. On Sunday we saw the biggest demonstration in the history of
Greece. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered to protest the
reactionary deal before the Athens parliament. Here was the real face of
the Greek people: workers and students, pensioners and shopkeepers,
young and old, came onto the streets to express their rage.