All the talk about the European crisis finally “turning the corner” has gone up in smoke as crisis ruturns big time to Europe. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Dutch government over its austerity budget and the uncertainly surrounding the French Presidential elections, the political battle over austerity has moved from Europe’s peripheral south to the heart of the eurozone itself.

Two days ago Angela Merkel was warning that peace in Europe could be endangered if an agreement was not reached at the EU summit on how to manage the crisis that has engulfed the euro and the whole of the EU economy. Speaking to the German parliament she said, “No one should think that a further half century of peace and prosperity is assured. It isn't. And that's why I say if the euro fails, Europe will fail, and that mustn't happen." Some of the more serious strategists of capital have even raised the prospect that the euro could break up. The 27 EU leaders on Wednesday night, however, finally produced a three part deal.

The following leaflet is to be distributed by supporters of Der Funke at the IUSY festival in Austria next week. The leaflet explains the need for a socialist answer to the crisis, rather than the bail-outs and austerity programs that are put forward by various Social Democratic or Socialist parties around Europe.

The Euro zone is in a mess. After a year of huge financial bail outs intended to calm the markets, the latter are very unstable, with a marked downward tendency. Signs of slowing global growth, and the continuing euro zone debt crisis, have caused the markets to slump. The nervousness of the markets is an accurate reflection of the growing anxiety of the bourgeois about the economic prospects for Europe.

The title of The Economist article said it all: “Europe: More pain, little gain”. All over Europe, governments are struggling to bring huge deficits under control. In order to do this, they pass the bill to the working class and the middle class. Gradually the truth is beginning to dawn on the workers. They are faced with a whole period of cuts and attacks on living standards. And they are reacting.

On September 29 more than 100,000 trade unionists from 27 different countries marched through Brussels in protest against the austerity measures being imposed by governments across the whole of Europe. The turnout was far greater than the trade union organisers had expected and it reveals the seething anger that is spreading throughout the whole of the European working class.

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