In the seaside town of Brighton and Hove, home to Britain’s only Green Member of Parliament, the most infamous man in Europe would need no introduction; and so it was last month, when crowds numbering in their thousands flocked to see an ex-finance minister of a failed state discuss the nature of Europe, the collapse of the world economy and what to do about it.

In his latest book, And The Weak Suffer What They Must?, Yanis Varoufakis (“the most interesting man in the world” according to Business Insider) offers a potted history of post-war global finance, the rise of the euro, and its spectacular fall, along with his own prognosis and solution for the interminable crisis of European capitalism.

At midnight on Saturday, March 19, the EU-Turkey agreement on refugees came into effect. Refugee processing hotspots on the Greek island were emptied, aid agencies and volunteers expelled, and the open migrant centres became closed detention facilities where refugees will be prepared for deportation to Turkey. This is a shameful agreement, quite possibly in violation of international law, which reveals the extreme callousness of the racist, capitalist European Union. To cap it all, while the Middle-East remains in turmoil, these reactionary measures will do little to stem the flow of migrants.

As the EU’s ongoing political and economic crisis enters a new and potentially decisive phase, parts of the ruling class are beginning to question whether the Union’s strategic goal of “ever closer union” can really be achieved, and some are doubtful as to whether it would even be desirable.

The current refugee crisis has brought out some of the horrors of capitalist society, as well as the contrast between the basic human solidarity of ordinary working people and the cold calculation and callousness of capitalist rulers in Europe and elsewhere.

The death of more than 800 people who drowned when a small fishing boat capsized 60 miles south of the Italian island of Lampedusa late on Saturday brings the death toll to of people among people attempting to reach Europe by boat in 2015 alone to 1,600. This tragic event highlights the dramatic situation that has developed in Africa and the Middle East after years of imperialist meddling.

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