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Europe in state of French-hysteria
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-10-13 09:13:32
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Students have started joining the workers and the unions in huge strikes in France that soon will take new paths and I’m afraid what we all silently predicted last year watching the marches in Athens it will come true with the French streets marking the beginning. The marches and the strikes were predictable the only thing that was missing was the excuse and government plans to overhaul the country's pension system and raise the legal retirement age from 60 to 62 was a good excuse to start with.

But it is just an excuse and the participation of the students is the best proof. Europe is in crisis, in a very serious crisis and it is not only economic crisis. Years of political mistakes, personal agendas and incapable and corrupted politicians have led the citizens of this continent into despair. Things that seemed natural, earned with blood just thirty years ago are getting lost day after day. It all started with the forty years working week. Nowadays only employees of the civil sector enjoy this right, the rest have to do with the bosses demands and needs. Twenty years ago people were looking for a safe retirement protected from the state and a chance to live what they missed in years of hard work. Thirty years ago in Europe the commonwealth was not a privilege but a right that had been earned. Thirty years ago the right in dignity was undutiful now it is a doubt.

The people in Athens a year ago and before the sad events that led to the death of a young boy started with the people demonstrating for exactly the same reasons the French people demonstrate and strike today, the government plans to raise the retirement age. But the people used that as an excuse to demonstrate their feelings against a series of corrupted governments and a system that survives with the money of the ones who don’t have them feeding the ones who have them. Oxymoron? No, the reality of our times. The same time the numbers of unemployed increases dramatically, the times when there are hundreds of homeless all around Europe from the frozen Scandinavia to humid Mediterranean. The minute there are thousands in Europe that live in the limits of poverty all around the old continent the states talk about the need for further cuts to support the industrialists and the bankers investing the future of all those unemployed, homeless and poor into shares for the stock market.

Ask anybody what they think about politics and politicians. From the zero corrupted Finland where the former Prime Minister was forced to resign under the suspicions of funding his campaign with money coming from sponsored companies from the state to Greece where the former Prime Minister will remembered in history as the man who bankrupted the country everybody believes that the words politicians and corruption are synonyms. Do you think that Germans doing better? Even the Z-lister TV-star David Hasselhoff has better reputation than Chancellor Merkel in Germany nowadays. In France Sarkozy has reached bottom and in Italy the name Berlusconi is equal to swear. In Britain the coalition is new but the scandals have started and in British politics when it rains it floods.

As I said in the beginning everybody was expecting the day when the Athens marches will continue in other European cities since the problems of the Greek people are not their privilege but something they share with all the European people and from the beginning the safest prediction was that France will follow. Well with a small brake in Madrid here we are. And what worried us more it was how violent these marches will turn and if the death of the boy in Athens was not just the first. You see these people are dispirit, they are losing everything, what they have worked for so many years actually all these people facing a corrupted and egocentric system with politicians locked in their agendas has lost hope and that makes them more dangerous. The only thing left to them is their dignity and they not ready to sacrifice it.

I’m not going to say anything about the European Union. The Union has been proven incapable to do anything except support the worst possible measures, seen the people as numbers without souls and targets for their experiments. Theorisizing and playing games they have led the member states to a deeper crisis from what was unavoidable to happen and has let them easy target to investors and opportunist s from the other side of the ocean.  And they knew - they knew what was coming and they stood there watching like it was a test for an essay ignoring the people they were there to serve and protect. Corrupted from the power they took on their own.

What happens in Paris is part of a path we don’t know where is going to lead and with every single step the people are taking the path is widen to something we cannot predict. And the states from their side lacking arguments use their only defence, state violence in the faces of the police force. And this is when it gets dangerous as a sixteen year-old proved a year ago in Athens.

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