Last Friday all over Austria more than 60,000 school students protested against the cancelling of five holidays and demanded an increase in spending on the public education system. This is the biggest school student movement in the history of Austria.
Austria is in recession, and it gets worse as each day passes. More and more workers are being hit hard, with sackings and cuts in hours and wages. On Saturday we had a taste of what is to come, with a successful demonstration which initially the trade union leaders refused to support, but were later forced to back as the pressure from the ranks built up.
75 years ago workers in Austria took up arms in an attempt to stop the fascists from taking power. Unfortunately, although the workers fought valiantly, the reformist leaders who dominated the labour movement refused to move in the direction of revolution and thus the workers suffered a terrible defeat. Today, as similar conditions begin to re-emerge what are the lessons we can draw?
The extreme right has risen again in Austria leaving many shocked. In reality what we have in Austria is growing political instability with swings to the left and the right as successive governments come up against the opposition of ordinary working people. Meanwhile there is ferment in the unions and within the ranks of the Social Democracy, the SPÖ.
The grand coalition in Austria has fallen apart, the two main parties
the Social Democrats and the Conservatives came under the opposing pressures of
the bosses and the working class. In the ranks of the labour movement a
militant mood is developing. The long established relative social peace is at
an end as the Austrian workers prepare to join their brothers and sisters
across Europe in a fightback against the
the collapse of Stalinism in Eastern Europe
the whole region has become a field of investment for western capital. Austria has
invested big time in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Now however all the
contradictions are mounting up and from a source of stability the region could
become a source of instability. Here we provide a brief comment on the economic situation of the CEE region.