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.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Europe as strikes and demonstrations caused widespread disruption. The main action came in Belgium, Greece, and Spain with trade unions fighting against austerity measures that will have devastating consequences for the jobs and lives of working people. Strikes or protests took place in 37 countries, including Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia and Lithuania.

The European Union, along with powers like the USA and Japan, has long had a policy of establishing economic relations with former colonies that impose the will of imperialism on the economic development of these countries. Supposedly instruments designed for “poverty alleviation”; in reality their main purpose is to open the markets of these poorer countries to goods flowing in from the advanced capitalist nations.

Under capitalism there is a steady unremitting pressure on workers’ living standards from the capitalist class, particularly as they compete with one another, and with bosses all around the world, to cut costs - especially labour costs. This need for employers to attack the wages and conditions of European workers has been intensified by the onset of crisis.

Present-day economic conditions demand that the working class fight back. The interests of the ruling class and the working class are irreconcilable. The bourgeois are screaming, "more cuts, more cuts" and the workers shout back "Enough is enough". The stage has been set for a "Hot Spring" in Europe.

On April 5 while the EU finance ministers and bankers were meeting in Brdo pri Kranju (Slovenia) 35,000 workers from all over Europe marched through Ljubljana demanding higher wages as inflation eats into their living standards. A delegation of the IMT from Austria, Italy and Switzerland was present.

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