Elio Delgado Legón
HAVANA TIMES — Since 2008, when the economic crisis began in the United States and immediately spread to the rest of the capitalist world, analysts have been insisting that this is not a passing phenomenon but rather a structural crisis within capitalism, a crisis we won’t be able to overcome by applying the same neoliberal formulas that gave rise to it in the first place.
Euro zone countries, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund insist on the need to apply the same policies and, naturally, the results are more of the same: a deepening of the crisis, greater unemployment, more widespread homelessness and more suicides. No one sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
The crisis, of course, only affects the workers, the poor, because the rich (and the bankers in particular) have become richer thanks to it – the billion-dollar bail-outs that some developed countries have destined to ruined banks and governments have ended in the pockets of the richest and have had no effect on the crisis.
These bail-outs have had no effect on unemployment figures, which continue to be alarming, as in the case of Spain, where they have risen to more than 20 percent, in general, and to more than 50 percent among the youth.
As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and neo-liberal policies have served to awaken people. We are already seeing the results of this.
In Greece, after suffering so-called austerity measures for several years, the people have placed a left-wing party in power which is doing everything possible to heal the wounds caused by neoliberalism, removing the austerity policies and applying new fiscal measures against tax evasion and corruption. Many analysts claim these will be successful and move the country forward.
In Spain, the left-wing party Podemos (“We Can”) emerged from the Indignados (the indignant) movement. According to the polls, the party is the leading candidate for the next elections. Faced with this situation, Spain’s current president, Mariano Rajoy, is panicking and attacking Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, accusing him of having promised the people something he knows he can’t deliver.
Rajoy has also entered an alliance with Portugal to create difficulties for Greece. I fully expect the European Right to place as many obstacles in Tsipras’ way to make him fail in his attempt to secure dignity for his people, but I am sure he will be successful in his efforts.
Later this year Podemos’ will be on the ballot in Spain. The initiative which will have to work hard to revert the highly critical situation that the government of Mariano Rajoy has brought about under Brussel’s guidance – but there is no going back in history and the Left will continue to make progress in Europe.
Movements in other countries will follow in the footsteps of Greece and Spain, and this is the fear of the European Right, which is intent in continuing to apply its backward policies and on placing all imaginable obstacles in the way of the Left. No one, however, can be fooled so easily now and the Left will continue making strides, until it has won this battle.