Greek workers have shown once more in their hugely successful general strike that they will not surrender to the austerity agenda demanded by the European Central Bank-EU commission-IMF troika and imposed by a conservative-led coalition.
Irrespective of the result of June's general election, which replaced one set of clones for the troika with another, the Greek working class still backs resistance.
They understand that, despite illusions spread in the election campaign about possible flexibility being shown by international bankers, the capitalist class is intent on tightening the screw.
Salaries will be cut, pensions and benefits reduced, the age of retirement raised, the price of essentials increased, public services slashed and unemployment will go through the roof.
The troika recommendations are similar in every single country in the European Union because the troika represents the same class interests - those of finance capital.
Over 90 per cent of Greeks believe that the cuts agenda is unfair, but their views are ignored.
The troika axemen know that only economic growth can open the way to increased government revenues, but they are hell-bent on effecting a drastic transfer of wealth and power from the working class to big business.
They want to strike a decisive blow against the postwar settlement when most countries in Europe instituted a welfare state, a national health service, substantial public sector and improved workers' rights.
These benefits have been under sporadic attack for three decades, but the current crisis of capitalism has been welcomed by the bourgeoisie, especially the finance sector, as an opportunity to roll back hard-won social gains.
The government of Antonis Samaras has asked the troika for two more years to carry out the cuts programme, but he does not question the need to force the working class to bear the brunt of the cuts in living standards.
That, once again, is the pattern across the EU whichever party (or parties) holds power.
Conservative, liberal or social democrat, the chorus is the same. We're all in it together, so the workers and the poor must pay for the speculation of the rich.
Spanish and Portuguese workers too have been up in arms against the programmes of spending cuts and tax rises imposed by their own governments under troika pressure.
Spain's government will propose an emergency budget today, but its essence is already clear - stripping the working class of economic and political gains.
A similar situation exists in Portugal where mass protests of up to a million people on September 15 forced the government of Pedro Passos Coelho to withdraw plans to increase national insurance contributions for workers by two-thirds while reducing employers' payments.
Passos Coelho is looking for new ways to milk the working class while the CGTP trade union confederation has called another mass mobilisation for this weekend.
Britain's workers should already be preparing for a massive turnout on October 20 for the TUC-organised A Future that Works events, but we should also be looking beyond simply protesting.
The scale of capitalism's crisis reveals that the ruling class understands that its survival depends on defeating independent working-class organisation and recasting society into a slimmed-down state with minimal social solidarity and private companies penetrating ever more deeply into the public sector.
Defensive battles are not enough. The case must be made for an alternative recasting of society based on a socialist approach.
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