On the political horizon of Europe democracy, peace, the rights and the conquests of our peoples are now facing a terrible danger. Extreme right-wing forces are already in governments and have entered parliaments in a number of member states. They bring with them xenophobia and racism, fanatical anti-communism and anti-Semitism, sexism and homophobia, even praising Hitler and Mussolini. For some years now, they are being legitimized in the eyes of the people as a result of the tolerance shown towards them or even by the treatment they enjoy mainly from the member parties of the European People’s Party. They are now encouraged by Trump’s government. They are now being coordinated and organized with a view to the European elections. All of them not only do not represent an “anti-systemic alternative force”, but instead the most barbaric and reactionary version of the system. Every democrat and progressive citizen of Cyprus and Europe must rise up against this threat. This is why, as AKEL, we feel the strong need in these conditions to address an appeal to all democrat fellow citizens who, even if they may not agree with us on all issues, share however the need to block the road to the far-right.
At the same time, and while the “fourth industrial revolution” is being implemented, as defined by the mass use of new technologies in industrial production, millions of people all over the world are still being denied access even to electricity, drinking water, health and education. Even worse the progress of new technologies and their introduction and use in the production process is being used by capital for the further deregulation of labour relations. Employment through electronic platforms is yet another form of flexibility and undermines working people’s possibility to take collective action and to assert. The International Labour Organization estimates that 42% of the world’s labour force is employed in conditions of flexibility.
My organization, PEO, as the Coordinator of the European Regional Office of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), is working actively, despite the negative balance of forces, for the unity and solidarity of the class-orientated progressive forces in Europe and the development of actions against neoliberal policies.
We need to step up our actions for this kind of Europe. We need to focus on what unites us as the left, put aside possible differences on secondary issues. We need to get closer to the class-based trade unions and social movements and listen to their concerns and support their assertions.