Taking on the euro

David Granville reviews No to the Euro! by Robert Griffiths, Communist Party of Britain, £2

WHILE THE Dublin government finally moves to put the Irish people through a second, wholly unjustified, Nice Treaty referendum, their British counterparts continue to put off a referendum on the euro for fear of suffering a similar rejection to the one delivered by Irish voters over Nice last year.

Even so, barely a week goes by when the supporters of the European Union project in Britain fail to crank up the pressure on politicians or wheel out some business leader to say what a terrible blow it will be to the future prosperity of the country -- and, no doubt, the person making the statement -- if the British people refuse to accept the introduction of the euro.

Robert Griffith’s pamphlet, appropriately subtitled ‘For for democracy and internationalism -- not big business’, is therefore particularly timely.

It traces the origins of European monetary union back as far as the 1947 Marshall Plan and attempts to undermine socialism in eastern Europe and identifies the “fundamental contradiction between national democratic sovereignty... and European bureaucratic centralism” which has dogged the ‘European project’ from the start.

Of particular importance, it also puts ‘New’ Labour’s enthusiasm for the EU into the political context of developments within world capitalism and inter-imperialist rivalry. Along the way Griffiths highlights the real cost of monetary union in terms of jobs, public spending cuts and privatisation and sets out the need for a broad ‘democratic anti-monopoly alliance’ to combat moves towards a ‘capitalist military United States of Europe’.

Griffith’s contribution to the euro/EU debate is a clear, level-headed and succinct account of the progressive case for opposing the euro and the machinations of monopoly capitalism and their friends and supporters in Britain, Europe and further afield. It gets straight to the heart of the of why true democrats should be critical of the European project in general and the introduction of the euro single currency in particular.

To parody a now famous political catchphrase which originated in the US: “It’s democracy, stupid.”

Copies of No to the Euro! are available from the Communist Party. Unit F11, 787 Commercial Road, London E14 7HG

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This document was last modified by David Granville on 2002-10-02 15:47:32.
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