Press release

May Day 2020: public welfare and social Europe are the key to climate and social justice

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Published on: 30.04.2020

Rather than holding demonstrations and occupying squares and streets, the Party of the European Left (EL) stands by those who have lost their loved ones to this shocking event, and especially to the families of those who fell ill working in the health sector or essential production. We are looking forward to taking the streets again together. We will still be together, rejecting the neoliberal policies of the past, to claim a social Europe: the only answer needed.

Ten years of asymmetric economic depression and neoliberal austerity policies of privatizing public services are amplifying the damages caused by this sanitarian and economic disaster. The crisis gives enough reasons to question our socio-economic model and to change policy radically. We need an economic model oriented towards the public welfare.

The Covid-19 crisis clearly shows the failure of the predominant neoliberal economic and social model. Years of unsustainable growth, of wrecking the environment, of deregulation of labor market, and unfair and unbalanced taxation in favor of capital income, have materially weakened the right to work and live in proper, safe and healthy conditions.

In the occasion of the 2020 International Workers’ Day, we celebrate not only the struggles of the past but also all the ones that are currently taking place both at the national and international level against the progressive dismantling of social policies and against the rise of right-wing nationalism, who blame this tragedy in a fascist and Orientalism-shaped manner.

This tragedy shows how insecure and unjust it could be a world in which profits have priority over people’s health, and in which workers’ rights have been dismantled and access to proper public health has been reduced along with the worsening of workers’ conditions and their exploitation. The EL is on the side of the European workers and citizens who are today doubly threatened by pandemics because they have lost their job, or they are dramatically exposed to loss of income, or to unhealthy and unsafe work conditions.

The EL is on the side of those women oppressed by unequal rights and domestic violence, and for whom freedom of movement would have been safer. The EL is on the side of the workers exploited in non-essential production, and on the side of all those citizens, especially those of marginalized groups, including migrants and refugees, who are suffering from the lock-down.

Indeed we are at a turning point in history. The world will dramatically change after this public health emergency. The pandemic has worsened the situation in war zones, while other societies will have to cope with the worst recession since the Great Depression.

The European Left calls all workers and citizens to celebrate – even through previously unseen modalities – the crucial role that their struggles and mobilization will have to overcome this non-solidary Europe, and to obtain social and climate justice. Today the EL celebrates the importance of solidarity among citizens and among workers, which has been historically crucial to obtain decent working conditions and proper public provision of healthcare, together with a safer and more just world.

In 2020, we are called to commemorate the importance of workers’ struggle for a more equal and just society in a different way because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a tragically large number of human lives being lost.