Time and time again, we’re told that Britain absolutely must remain in the EU. The EU, we are told, is an organisation that stands up for the rights of its citizens and has enshrined workers’ freedoms in a way that no single country can be trusted to do. We’re constantly told that workers’ rights would be at risk or simply cancelled by a heartless British government after Brexit.
Watch the TV news and you’ll see Labour MP queueing up to tell us that the Labour party should ignore the democratic referendum decision and to commit to staying in the single market and customs union, and work with other socialist parties across Europe to improve workers’ rights.
The reality is that the EU is an anti-democratic body that uses the pooled and hijacked sovereignty of member states to cement its own institutional self-preservation.
The EU imposed austerity measures on struggling Eurozone members, from Spain to Italy, in the name of the economic stability of France and Germany, forcing elected national governments to turn on their own electorate.
In Greece, ripped apart by EU enforced austerity measures, the EU forced the Syriza-led government of Alex Tsipras to implement new anti-union legislation, making strike action illegal unless over 50 per cent of union members formally approved it in advance.
This is the EU we’re talking about; the mythical champion of workers’ rights worshipped by Labour and remain supporters. The EU, forcing its own labour laws on a nation state, reducing the rights of people in Greece to go on strike. Introducing anti-worker legislation that the Greek government did not want to introduce legislation that is designed to emasculate the rights of the working class and protect the profits of big business.
Champions of workers’ rights?
The legislation was forced on Greece as part of its servitude under the 2015 bailout package agreed with the EU, IMF and ECB.
‘These were rights won with sweat and blood more than three decades ago’, said Odysseus Trivalas, president of the union of public sector workers. ‘Banks, industrialists and foreign investors want to deny us them. We won’t make it easy. We will take to the streets.’
Soon afterwards in January 2018, about 500 demonstrators with Greek Communist-affiliated group PAME prised open metal shutters of the labour ministry in central Athens, racing up to the eighth floor of the building, confronting the labour minister Effie Achtsioglou and hanging a banner from the ministry’s windows that said ‘Hands off strikes, it’s a labour right.’
Unfortunately, the EU had no intention of allowing Greek workers or citizens to decide their own labour laws. The multi-nationals buying up Greece’s assets, companies and property don’t want their investments devalued by unwashed workers kicking up a fuss and going on strike whenever they feel like it. No, no. On schedule and closely watched by EU monitors, the EU-supplied legislation, which included the anti-union laws, was passed by the Greek parliament. The Greek government had no choice; it was basically obey or be destroyed by your banking masters.
Some people might say that the actions of the EU against Greece, whereby a sovereign country was humiliated, its people impoverished and its public assets sold, was an act of war. Maybe no guns were involved, but the outcome is the same.
In 1952, an agreement was reached in London, known as the London Debt Agreement, which basically cancelled debts owed by Germany after the First and Second World Wars. Rather than force Germany into eternal servitude and generations of humiliation, Germany’s debts were written off. Greece was one of the countries which agreed to this write-off. Fast forward a couple of generations and the same favour was not forthcoming for the Greeks. Instead of compassion and understanding, they were forced under the EU’s jackboots and ground into the dirt.
We treated the instigators of two world wars better than the Franco-German-led EU treated Greece.
Who paid the price of the EU’s austerity in Greece? The man and woman in the street, the people who thought joining the EU was a sort of safety net. The unlucky ones lost their jobs, while the more fortunate watched helplessly as their salaries were cut and taxes increased. The value of their homes fell through the floor. Their parents, who were drawing pensions, had their pensions cut. More than once. All on the orders of the EU.
The very same people remain fanatics insist the UK cannot survive without.
The UK’s remain-obsessed and Labour-supporting press have been largely silent about this – it’s hard to maintain a drip-feed of ‘you’ll lose your job and money if we leave the EU’ stories when you have to slot them alongside reports of the EU ripping apart the lives and rights of everybody living in Greece. Our brave socialist warriors, happy to jump up and down like demented jack-in-the-boxes shouting about worker exploitation, fatcat bosses, globalist thieves and uncaring right-wingers plainly don’t see anything wrong in the EU raping one of its own members in order to protect the value of the Euro.
The reality of modern Greece is that one in four adults is now unemployed, with one in two under-25s out of work. Net household income has fallen by over 40 per cent since 2009 and the citizens of Greece have seen their freedom to resist, to determine their own future, curtailed or eviscerated by the EU.
This is the EU and Remain camp’s idea of utopia, where workers’ rights are protected and evil capitalism is kept at bay. Classic unicorn shit.