The FIAT plant at Pomigliano d’Arco
(Naples) has become the centre of attention for all militant trade
unionists in Italy. The bosses are trying to implement new draconian
work conditions and in the process have used all kinds of bullying
methods. But they can push too far and the workers are reaching the
limit and preparing to fight back.
The downgrading of Greece’s credit
ratings by Standard & Poor’s
has sent shockwaves around the world’s financial markets, with stock
exchanges seeing significant falls over the last few days. The fear is
could default and drag the rest of the eurozone into a severe crisis,
putting immense pressure on the euro. The problem the bourgeois face is
the Greek working class, which is not taking this lying down.
Last week, on March 11, Greece was
shaken by an even bigger general strike than on February 24. As the
government announced its third austerity package the mood of Greek
workers has become one of growing anger and militancy. All the
conditions are there for a massive escalation of the conflict.
The crisis of capitalism is creating an unstable social and
political situation in Germany. Tensions are emerging within the
coalition government, elected only last year. Most interestingly, this
is having a radicalising effect inside DIE LINKE, which is being pulled
both left and right, with some of the leaders attracted by coalition
politics while the more radical ranks react against and seek an
alternative to the left.
Greece, like all the other capitalist
countries afflicted by the recession, is running a big deficit on its
government budget. Tax revenues have
collapsed and more benefits are having to be paid out to the unemployed.
Deficits for the European Union countries as a whole tripled from 2.3% to 6.9%
from 2008 to 2009 because of the slump.