The eurotheatre with Macron, Merkel and Rutte deserves a new 'tomato action'.

29 July 2018

The eurotheatre with Macron, Merkel and Rutte deserves a new 'tomato action'.

Foto: Kaylee K

Sometimes things can get genuinely exciting in the European Union, and sometimes it's simply pure theatre. When it comes to the future of the euro, it's for the most part the latter, and the various roles are decided in advance. Macron wants a common budget for good times and bad, managed by a European Finance Minister. Merkel is happy to go along with him to a degree, but only if the member states are forced to subject themselves to the yoke of budgetary discipline. And while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte does want budgetary discipline, he doesn't favour a common budget. Three leading actors who have long known that there'll be a happy ending: Rutte is used as the bad guy in her plan to impose her own views on Macron. And so this summer we're seeing important steps towards a federal eurozone. Only real left forces can see through this charade. For example the Mélenchon movement in France, whose very name, La France Insoumise -”France Unsubdued” - expresses a refusal to don the European yoke. In a famous event in the 1960s, known as the Tomato Action, drama students began to throw tomatoes at the actors in protest at the extremely conservative nature of the selection of plays. We need those tomato throwers to step up again, because this play doesn't deserve a happy ending, at least not for those playing the leading roles.

Rutte made his views known – including a newly born love for the European Union – during his speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, having previously expressed his 'vision' in Berlin. Macron began laying out his vision of the future in a speech at the Sorbonne, the famous university in Paris. Merkel had first to wait out the long process of forming a governing coalition and remained cautious, until on 19th July she and Macron signed the Meseberg Declaration, in which Macron's ideas were paired with German preconditions.

The happy ending sought by Merkel, Macron and Rutte will be cut from German cloth, with a small Mediterranean border. There'll be a ‘backstop’ for both the banks and the member states, to aid them financially should they run into difficulties, using money from the eurozone countries, with the richer countries contributing more than the poorer states. In return, space for national policies will be further restricted. So Rutte will be tasked not only with giving away our money, but with the joint responsibility for imposing neoliberal policy on all of the member states. Fail to go along with privatisation of public services, or the demolition of social provisions and lowering of wages, and you won't be able to count on the backstop. That kind of thing. The happy ending is in this way happy indeed for the rich, but for the rest of us, the 90%, it's pure tragedy. So it's time for a new Tomato Action, and our job is to organise the tomato throwers – something which the SP can do better than anyone.

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