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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Le Pacte budgétaire européen fédère les forces de gauche contre lui

by Xavier Bonnehorgne

European Budget Pact Welds Together Opposition of Left Forces

Translated Friday 14 September 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Bill Scoble

The main representatives of the political organizations, trade unions and associations that belong to the Collective for a Citizens’ Audit of the Government Debt repeated on Sept. 11 that it is necessary to mobilize left-wing forces, citizens, and elected officials for the united demonstration against the European budget pact and for a referendum on the pact. The demonstration will be in Paris on Sept. 30

“With this European budget pact, which is both ultra free-trade capitalist and authoritarian, the European leaders are making our people run a considerable risk.” It was with these words that Thomas Coutrot, the co-president of Attac France, opened the press conference, underlining the absurdity of the budgetary constraints imposed by the future European pact, on which the French Parliament is to vote in early October.

“In the face of the planned austerity, our main objective is to launch a campaign against the treaty, a campaign aimed at bringing together as many people as possible. Through this unity, we must imperatively succeed in convincing those left-wing deputies who are still hesitating to vote against it, and above all, in forcing the opening of a democratic debate.” For the representative of the National Association of Communist and Republican Elected Officials, the debate also concerns the local authorities and semi-autonomous regions in France, which have already been “particularly struck by the economic crisis.”

Ratification and organic law

For her part, Martine Billard, the co-president of the national bureau of the Parti de Gauche insisted on the urgency of the mobilization, while detailing the agenda for the ratification of the new European treaty. “It’ll be necessary to be very vigilant, because there will not only be the ratification, but also an organic law afterwards. We’ll have to try and prevent certain deputies from playing the hypocrite by refusing to vote only one or the other.” Billard added a little later that 15 to 20 Socialist Party deputies can still be mobilized on the question, “without forgetting that there is also reluctance on the right".

The Sept. 30 demonstration is also mobilizing youth, Emmanuel Zemmour, the president of the National Union of Students of France, stated. “Youth mustn’t be forgotten, because for youth the European treaty that’s being cooked up is a renunciation of investment in the future.”

“Internationalization of the struggle”

Speaking briefly but still as effectively, Olivier Besancenot, the leader of the New Anti-Capitalist Party, did not fail to attack François Hollande’s silence on the treaty when Hollande spoke on the TF1 evening news program on Sept. 8.

Lambasting “this free-trade Europe against which we must fight, in the context of the increasing number of planned redundancy schemes at Peugeot-Citroën and Doux,” Besancenot, who ran for president of France in 2007, hammered home the need for an “internationalization of the struggle". His words clearly marked the difference between the Collective Against the European Budget Pact campaign and the campaign against the treaty recently launched by Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader of the National Front.

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