Irish People Reject Austerity Policies

(New Democracy News Service)

Anti-austerity mood of the people of European countries manifested itself once again in Ireland where parliamentary elections witnessed resounding defeat of the ruling coalition of Fine Gael and Labour Party. Like in Spain elections have not given majority to any party. However gains made by Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and different other groups have unmistakably demonstrated mood of the people against cut in govt. expenditure. Verdict in Ireland conforms to the trend being witnessed in different European countries which experienced severe recession and had to implement austerity measures.

Ireland has been hailed as a success story by the apologists of the present system for having come out of recession. Over last two years, Ireland has recorded highest growth rate among European countries. However, this growth has come about by increasing the burden on the working people and conditions of the people except in middle class areas of the capital Dublin have deteriorated. Despite trumpeting of Ireland’s supposed success, people burdened rejected the policies which increased burden over them. Worst sufferer was junior ruling coalition partner Labour Party which people punished for implementation of austerity policies despite their support base being biggest sufferer of the same. Biggest gain was made by Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail which had campaigned against these policies.

People of different European countries have been rejecting austerity policies in elections. But the Govts. formed have not fulfilled their promises. In Greece, Syriza betrayed anti-austerity platform on which it was elected while in Spain no Govt. has been formed despite two months of election. In Ireland too, Govt. formation would be difficult.

While working people are angry against the capitalist offensive to transfer burden of economic crisis onto their shoulders, struggle of working people must be developed for the overthrow of capitalist system and for socialism. There is no other outlet for the resolution of the present crisis in the interest of working class and other sections of toiling people. While elections may and do indicate mood of the people, working class has to gear up for revolutionary struggle if this anger is to lead to lasting change in their conditions. Neo-Keynesian prescriptions cannot lead to solution of the problems being faced by the working people.