MANIFESTO – EUROPE FOR THE PEOPLE, NOT FOR THE MARKETPLACE
We stand in defence of a Europe that sets fundamental rights above the interests of the marketplace. We stand for a new model created by citizens through a process of direct democracy, placing the emphasis on people’s real interests. Replacing competitiveness with cooperation, individualism with mutual support, oppression and paternalism with equality, putting the stress on people’s sovereignty. A People’s Europe opposed to the mechanisms of selfishness and economic savagery.
We struggle for liberty against the tyranny of false democracies, against an economic system which only fosters social inequality and injustice. Despite statements to the contrary, the European Union is not a social project. Its main objective is to increase the competitiveness of its larger banks and companies on the world market, and thereby enhance profits. Maximising capitalist profit is valued way above any social or ecological values. For this reason there are currently 15000 lobbyists in Brussels, top banking executives move freely between important government posts and high profile financial bodies like the IMF or the ECB. And likewise prime ministers and ministers wind themselves top jobs on the board of directors of large banks and multinationals.
European and national policy are designed by the Council of Europe and the Troika, made up of non-democratic institutions (European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF). Treaties and pacts are signed by the different heads of state without any popular referendum. Treaties like Maastricht and Lisbon, the Euro pact, the fiscal pact or ESM…are agreements directly responsible for the Labour Reform, cuts in public services, privatisation of public companies and services, increased tax burden of the working and middle classes, bailout of banks with public funds, priority in payment of national debt over social expenditure, the loss of state sovereignty in favour of the Troika.
We do not want a Europe that oppresses people and exploits environmental resources for the benefit of the few; that controls people through distortion of the truth in the media, and via police repression; and through free trade treaties, so called cooperation aid and military intervention, boosters dictatorships, apartheid, and occupied territories, clearing the way for multinationals to exploit local populations and their natural resources. We do not want a Europe legitimized by governments who clearly ignore the people, the very basis of democracy.
WE DEMAND THAT THE EUROPEAN UNION SHELVE ALL TREATIES AND PACTS, AND BUILD A PEOPLE’S EUROPE, bringing citizens’ rights and interests to the fore, as opposed to those of the economic elite. We demand a democratic Europe whose goals be equality, freedom, justice, solidarity, cooperation and sustainability on the economic, social and ecological plains. As Europe as it stands only really represents the interests of Capital in detriment to the rights and liberties of people and society as a whole.
WE DEMAND A PUBLIC AUDIT ON STATE DEBT, above board and backed by citizen participation, and where evaluated as such, reject the repayment of debt deemed illegitimate. We demand legal action be taken against those politically and financially responsible for the crisis. it has become more than apparent that a large part of state debt was not run into to serve the genuine interests of the people. 81% of Spanish debt is(or was) private, mainly banking sector and large company based, and it is being transformed into public debt thanks to the systematic bailout of banks, whose payment is the origin of continual austerity measures like cutbacks in essential public services, along with privatization.
WE DEMAND AN END TO PRIVATISATION AND CUTBACKS, return of services affected and companies privatised, laws allowing for privatization to be dropped, as with those excluding certain social groups from the use of such services, to be considered universal rights. Private sector management is more costly and poorer in quality than the public sector equivalent, and only large companies stand to benefit, not the general public.Not only that, but we defend the idea that essential public services should be considered of common good and thereby be 100% public, and under citizen management as a guarantee of public concerns.
WE DEMAND AN EQUITABLE, PROGRESSIVE AND SELF-SUFFICIENT TAX SYSTEM, stressing the importance on eliminating tax fraud and tax havens. Spanish deficit is not due to over spending, in fact public spending is below the European average, but due to the lack of revenue from corporate taxes and generally larger income brackets, as opposed to a greater tax burden on the salaried classes, and a lack of efficiency in the pursuit of fraud. Tax policy should promote greater distribution of wealth, the ability to finance public services both of quality and universal in nature, provide for social welfare and the creation of public sector employment.
WE DEMAND THE RECENT LABOUR REFORM BE DISMANTLED, and the creation of a new framework agreement that protects workers rights and guarantees reconciliation of work and family life. We demand a substantial increase in the minimum wage, and a ceiling on maximum wages, along with a basic income and distribution of labour (both salary and non-salary based). Wealth is created by work, but profits go to capital. Economic activity as with labour should provide for the needs of people and society, not for the benefit of the few.
WE DEMAND THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM FALL COMPLETELY UNDER THE PUBLIC DOMAIN AND OPERATE ON A DEMOCRATIC, ETHICAL, AND SOCIAL BASIS, covering the real needs of the population and not speculative private interests. We insist on the need to bring those responsible for the economic crash to justice and the return of capital amassed in this period. It’s self-evident that a financial system in private hands is the origin of social and economic ruin, and that the bail-out of banks has only helped to increase the accumulation of wealth in fewer hands. Only a public banking system can guarantee genuine public interests.
WE DEMAND THAT ECONOMIC AND OTHER HUMAN ACTIVITIES BE REGULATED ESTABLISHING BASIC PRINCIPLES, SO AS TO GUARANTEE PROPER CONSERVATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND OVERALL ECOLOGICAL BALANCE. Infinite growth is impossible in the context of a planet which is finite, and under the present model we are clearly depleting natural resources, ruining biodiversity and the environment as a whole, distancing ourselves from the same ecological balance on which life so much depends. And in this sense, respect and solidarity are also owed to future generations.
WE DEMAND CITIZEN RIGHTS FOR MIGRANT PEOPLE. Immigrant detention centres should be closed. All migrant people should have their social status legalized. We demand an end to immigration controls such as FRONTEX or EUROSUR, as the unjust treatment of detainees constitutes a violation of human rights. Also, one of the deep ridden causes of migration is the level of poverty in the country of origin, of which the capitalist system is largely responsible.
WE DEMAND SOCIETY AND THE STATE BE DEMILITARISED, cancelling arms trading programs and military operations abroad, along with drastic reductions in defence budget. We demand an immediate end to police repression, as with the no renewal of anti-riot equipment. The police are brought in to bolster an unjust system, and no expense is spared while basic social services are being neglected.
AND ABOVE ALL WE DEMAND REAL DEMOCRACY, BOTH AT STATE LEVEL AS IN EUROPE AS A WHOLE. We demand people’s direct participation in government decisions, along with mechanism to guarantee transparency. We need a media both public and democratic directly supervised by the public. People must decide directly how they want to live. The interests of large corporations and banks must not hijack public interests. As this false democracy that only allows people to vote once every four years on the basis of programs unlikely to be fulfilled, without real legitimacy, decrees large reform measures, cutbacks and privatization schemes despite real public interests. We need a new democratic and ethical will to clamp down on political corruption, through careful scrutiny of public institutions, and a new constitutional order. All of this because the voice of the people must be free to express itself without distortion or fear of reprisal.
It is also of the utmost importance that the people’s struggle to defend civil rights and liberties be also a struggle against fascism.
In the economic dictatorship we’re forced to live under, worsened by the crisis scenario, numerous fascist groups brandishing pseudo-political alternatives are gaining ground in Europe, full of promises of salvation that in reality only mask harsher forms of oppression.