The pandemic became a major deadly danger in many countries. But not because of the COVID 19 virus, but because of imperialist policies against the working class the people!
The WHO (World Health Organization) boasted at the beginning of the year with declaring the International Year of Nurses and Midwives. "Nursing and midwifery in the European Region" was supposed to be strengthened, it said through WHO. The first half of this year showed, this was nothing but a bad joke. Not only that the medical staff, who have to work in usually under poor and sometimes catastrophic conditions, is particularly exposed to the pandemic and the actions of those in power. The catastrophic effects of decades of cutbacks in this area became very clear.
The character of the EU as an alliance of the imperialists for the intensified plunder of whole countries and people, for the deepening of the oppression of the working class and popular masses was clearly shown. Completely contrary to the propagated image of the "peaceful" and "solidarity" union. While in 2008/09, numerous so-called "aid packages" were made to "save" Southern Europe, which, among other things, led to today's catastrophe, no help whatsoever was given in the past months.
In Spain, which has been severely affected by the pandemic, program based on EU regulations were implemented, which massively reduced health care expenditure. In Madrid, for example, there are now 50 private hospitals next to 33 public hospitals. A dramatic picture emerges in Italy, which has so far recorded 34,861 deaths, or 552 per million inhabitants. In comparison: In Austria there are 90 per million inhabitants and Germany 111. Why is it like that? In the last ten years, EU regulations have forced Italy to make savings: 258 hospitals have been closed (20%) and 75,000 hospital beds have been reduced (28%)! While the Italian population has grown by almost 3 million over the last two decades. In comparison: Italy has 6.5 nurses per 1,000 inhabitants, the EU average is 8.4. There are 3.2 hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants, in Germany, a leading EU imperialist, the number is 8! No wonder, then, that the pandemic has become a deadly danger for the workers and popular masses in Italy!
But the murderous policies of the imperialists are even more evident in the situation of the oppressed countries. By the "Troika", for example, 13,000 doctors and 26,000 nurses have been laid off in Greece since 2009, 45 of 137 hospitals have been closed, 3 million people living in Greece lost their health insurance! Through the EU alliance with the help of its Greek puppets (including Syriza) the health expenditure in Greece was reduced by almost 50%!
The imperialists, above all German imperialism, are doing also enormous damage with the so-called "free movement of the labour force commodity". This has led, especially in the last ten years, to a massive robbery of medical staff (among other things). This policy is supported not least by reactionary (so-called "liberal") ideologies of "open borders". Due to this policy of robbery and plunder, there is a shortage of 26,000 doctors in Romania, large parts of the country are without any medical care! In recent years, 25,000 doctors and 28,000 nurses have left the country, the average age of the working doctors is 60 years. Even before the pandemic this was a catastrophic situation! Now it is not only the life and health of the masses of the people that is being massively attacked, but also the militarization of civil institutions in Europe is clearly visible in the example of Romania. Because while there is a massive lack of supply, three important hospitals, one in Suceava (north-east), one in Focsani (south-east) and one in Deva (central Romania), were taken over by the military!
We reported in detail on the situation of medical staff and health care in Bulgaria. There is also a huge shortage, where 80% of the medical staff is actually already retired, but continues to work to survive and to provide medical care for the masses in the neighborhood. These examples are spread all over Central and Eastern Europe and clearly show who should pay for the "Corona Pandemic"!
It is nothing but hypocrisy and a further step towards deepening the bondage when the "Western Balkans Summit" of the EU Alliance, held in Zagreb (Croatia) in May, pledged 3.3 billion euros in aid for the oppressed countries of the Western Balkans to fight the pandemic! It is "an important sign of cooperation", said the Austrian minister, who is pressing massively for EU enlargement and striving for a "European perspective". The representatives of Austrian imperialism even offered to treat patients from this region in Austria. To be mentioned especially: Right at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak in Central Europe, Austria received a whole load of protective masks from Bulgaria! This "cooperation" and medical "help" must be seen completely in the light of the contradictions and the struggle among the imperialists themselves! It is a "geopolitical race of Europe with China and Russia", as the imperialists of the EU alliance themselves call it.
Imperialism, not COVID 19, exposed itself as the enemy of the health of the working class and popular masses! As rightly stated in the joint declaration of Romanian, Ex-Yugoslavia, Bulgarian, Austrian and Turkish revolutionaries:
“Imperialism exposes itself as enemy of the health of the working class and the people’s masses: Let us strike back the deteriorations in the health care system! Let us intensify the struggle for a health care system in the service of the people! Imperialism exposes itself as enemy of democratic rights: Let us strike back all attempts of further militarization, surveillance and control of the people’s masses! Imperialism exposes itself as parasite on the back of the oppressed peoples: Let us intensify our struggle based on internationalism, for the self-determination of the oppressed peoples and nations, for smashing the chains of imperialism! Imperialism exposes itself as exploiter and parasite on the body of the working class: Let us increase the struggle against mass unemployment, short-time work and wage robbery!
Now our determined and brave action is needed! Every day, the stability of capital in the "Corona-Crisis" begins to crumble more and more. Let us stand shoulder to shoulder with the oppressed and exploited. Let us struggle for the implementation of our just demands and unite in internationalism to a torrent against imperialism!”
No shifting of the burden of the “Corona-Crisis” onto the working class and the people’s masses! For a health care system in the service of the people! Down with militarization, surveillance and repression against the people! Down with imperialism! Down with the EU! No to the EU-Eastward-enlargement! Long live internationalism!