Germany: Europe 'is dismembering itself' - Die Linke conference discusses direction of Europe

Die Linke chairpersons Sahra Wagenknecht and Dietmar Bartsch were joined by French MP for La France Insoumise Jean-Luc Melenchon, during a party event in Berlin on Sunday, as they discussed political and economic troubles in Europe.

Bartsch took to the stage first saying: "Whether that's Donald Trump with his comments on Haitians, whether that's Mr. Orban visiting the CSU, and so on, we can all find countless examples of this cultural battle where civil values are being attacked - that's the challenge we're up against. There's one reason that it came to this - the decade long politics of neoliberalism brought us to the point where it was possible for the right to rise and fight for dominion over society."

Guest speaker Melenchon, part of far right La France Insoumise party, followed the Die Linke chairperson, saying: "At the beginning, they said that it was against Iran, and now we understood it is against Russia. But no. Russia is not an enemy, it is a partner. Russia is a partner. No to war. No the armament. No compromise on war and peace. We don't want the Europe of defense."

His speech was met with a resounding applause before Wagenknecht followed her party counterpart in explaining her displeasure at current conditions throughout Europe.

Wagenknecht said: "So I wonder where the Europe of Schulz, Merkel, Macron and others is leading to," adding that "323 billion euros are going to stockholders in individual European countries, and at the same time we have a situation where poverty in Europe is at an all-time high, where so many young people are facing a life that offers them no chances, where education is being economised to the point where it no longer functions, where public institutions are decaying, where hospitals are completely underequipped, where countries are pressured to privatise and cut back on social benefits, and the dividends are bubbling more than ever before."

The night ended with the leaders and guest speaker taking to the stage for a standing ovation.

SOT, Dietmar Bartsch, chairperson of Die Linke (German): "I'm promoting co-operation for one reason: around the world, there's a world-wide culture war from the right. We can see and hear that almost every day. Whether that's Donald Trump with his comments on Haitians, whether that's Mr. Orban visiting the CSU, and so on, we can all find countless examples of this culture war where civil values are being attacked - that's the challenge we're up against. There's one reason that it came to this - the decade long politics of neoliberalism brought us to the point where it was possible for the right to rise and fight for dominion over society."

SOT, Jean-Luc, Melenchon, MP for La France Insoumise (French): "We now hear from all the parts of Europe that we have to step up military collaboration and increase our spending in the sector, that we have to install artillery batteries… At the beginning, they said that it was against Iran, and now we understood it is against Russia. But no. Russia is not an enemy, it is a partner. Russia is a partner. No to war. No the armament. No compromise on war and peace. We don't want the Europe of defense. We don't know whom we will defend ourselves from. We don't know whom they want to attack."

SOT, Sahra Wagenknecht, chairperson of Die Linke (German): "So I wonder where the Europe of Schulz, Merkel, Macron and others is leading to - you can see it in the figures, Jean-Luc already pointed out a few. One figure has already been published. In Europe, the distribution of dividends amounts to 323 billion euros. That's a number we've never seen before. 323 billion euros are going to stockholders in individual European countries, and at the same time we have a situation where poverty in Europe is at an all-time high, where so many young people are facing a life that offers them no chances, where education is being economised to the point where it no longer functions, where public institutions are decaying, where hospitals are completely underequipped, where countries are pressured to privatise and cut back on social benefits, and the dividends are bubbling more than ever before. I think that shows that this Europe is not a Europe that supports the continuity of its people. This is a Europe that is dismembering itself. That there's nationalistic aspirations and tendencies in so many countries, that's a result of these politics. That's what they're doing, and they're responsible for the big Europeans."

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