From Socialist Voice, August 2005

Referendum on the EU Constitution in Luxembourg

56% of Luxembourgers voted Yes, but the majority of workers and youth said No

By Ali Ruckert, chairman of the Communist Party of Luxembourg

The nomenklatura in the Luxembourg capital—that is, the leaders of the state-supporting parties, trade union leaders, and associations of entrepreneurs—were breathing a sigh of relief last Sunday [10 July] when they learnt that the Yes for the Constitution treaty of the European Union had reached 56.52 per cent. During the last weeks they had started a broad campaign that can only be compared with a propaganda steamroller to flatten any kind of opposition against the treaty. This campaign was finally successful, at least in part.
    It was most notable that mainly in the country’s capital and its surroundings, where the higher-income earners are living, the percentage of Yes was exceedingly high. Apart from that area there was no other region in the country with a big majority in favour of the treaty.
    And it is no surprise at all that seven communities in the south voted against the constitution treaty, among them the second-biggest and third-biggest cities, Esch-sur-Alzette (53.24% No votes) and Differdingen (55.17%). Differdingen is a city with a population of workers, where in 1921 the Communist Party of Luxembourg was founded. Already in 1919 the people of Differdingen had voted in a referendum against the monarchy, in favour of establishing a Republic of Luxembourg. And in 1937 the workers of Esch, Differdingen and the other southern communities rejected in a referendum the plans of the right-wing government to ban the Communist Party.
    Apart from those historical aspects, we think that mainly the workers, the employees and greater parts of the youth have understood that the neo-liberal Europe that is the aim of the constitution is not in favour of their interests. They feel that this document is directed against the interests of the working people and that their situation will become worse if this treaty comes into force.
    By the end of June the Luxembourg parliament had already voted in favour of the constitution. The result of the vote was 100 per cent of the present deputies. This means that almost half of the Luxembourg population is not represented by the parliamentarians. The gap between the official opinion of the ruling class and the really existing opinion of the people can hardly be greater.
    In late July and August the Luxembourg government will discuss the so-called Lisbon Strategy. It is beyond any doubt that they will not consider concrete measures against the growing unemployment and poverty or how to eliminate existing social problems. The main content of this meeting will be arrangements to increase “competitiveness” and the profits of big capital. It goes without saying that this will be at the expense of existing social services, at the expense of the working people. This is how they understand the content of the constitution treaty.

Home page  >  Publications  >  Socialist Voice  >  August 2005  >  Referendum on the EU Constitution in Luxembourg
Baile  >  Foilseacháin  >  Socialist Voice  >  Lúnasa 2005  >  Referendum on the EU Constitution in Luxembourg