elections in France and Greece represent a fundamental change in the
situation. The crisis of European capitalism has entered a new and
turbulent stage. A mood of anger is sweeping across Europe. Of course,
we understand that election results do not reflect the psychology of the
masses with complete accuracy. They are like a snapshot of the mood at a
given moment. But it is necessary to analyse election results
carefully, since they do show certain trends in society.
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