French Communist, 1992: Politicians will tell you they can do nothing, because the EU orders come from Brussels

The Treaty of Maastricht in 1992 was the biggest single step in the gradual formation of the European Union. Before it came the Treaty of Rome and various other treaties that created the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Economic Community, and the European Community. Maastricht marked the beginning of the European Union, which reached its final form with the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.

The video below is from an interview with Francis Wurtz, a French communist who served in the European Parliament from 1979 to 2009. It was recorded in 1992, before the treaty was signed. He said, “If Maastricht passes, I tell you that there will be a social explosion when people realize what kind of trap they have been led into.” That and his other predictions were exactly right; he could see what was coming.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   If you don’t mind, let’s begin by talking about the basic problem
00:04   of the Maastricht Treaty. It is sovereignty. Don’t you think this
00:07   notion has become a bit abstract for people? —So let’s try to make it a little more concrete.
00:13   I would say that this treaty establishes a kind of law above the law.
00:17   Suppose for a moment that it is really ratified: you will
00:21   continue to elect your deputies, but the real power will be elsewhere,
00:27   in unelected, non-French bodies very far from people.
00:33   I enjoy using the example that in a few years 80% of economic
00:38   and fiscal legislation would be transferred to these
00:43   technocratic powers. In addition, there would be
00:48   a European Central Bank in Frankfurt, no doubt, that would manage
00:53   the future single currency when the French franc disappears
00:56   along with other national currencies. Then these secret powers
00:59   are assigned a specific mission by the Maastricht Treaty:
01:04   The task of hunting for excessive deficits and reducing public spending.
01:09   That means social expenditures, healthcare, education, salaries,
01:13   retirement pensions and sanctions being ordered for governments
01:16   that don’t respect the limits. —Could Maastricht have concrete consequences
01:21   for daily life? —I’ve been trying to give a few,
01:25   but here’s another example. You will recall some time ago
01:28   the French government authorised night work for women.
01:31   This is typically a so-called European harmonisation measure
01:35   that was officially taken in the name of gender equality.
01:38   That is, equality by social regression. In fact, it’s just one effect
01:42   among others of this ultra-liberal logic that permeates the current
01:47   European construction which has triumphed in the Maastricht Treaty.
01:51   The lives of men and women are not listed on the stock exchange.
01:55   It is as simple as that. —What if, despite everything, the Maastricht Treaty is passed?
01:59   If Maastricht passes, I tell you that there will be a social explosion
02:03   when people realize what kind of trap they have been led into.
02:07   The vice president, a former vice president of the economic services
02:10   of the CNPF, the French employers’ association,
02:13   Mr. Pelletier himself acknowledged, and I quote from his memoir,
02:18   that simulation studies were carried out secretly.
02:23   His conclusion was that most European states will suffer politically unacceptable constraints.
02:29   You understand that under these conditions the Communist Party
02:33   opposes this radical Treaty. At the same time,
02:36   it says yes to another type of policy. Our type of European policy.
02:40   We must not give in to those who say
02:43   we must accept Maastricht or expect chaos, because they
02:47   want to make you feel guilty by making you look old-fashioned.
02:51   However, when the Maastricht Treaty is ratified, in the future these same people,
02:55   if criticized because of their bad policy will tell you they can do nothing
02:58   about it because the orders come from Brussels, or wherever they come from, perhaps Frankfurt.
03:02   This means they will use the bad Europe they have built
03:06   as a bulwark against the discontent of their people.
03:09   But without a single European market, without Maastricht, how can we
03:13   counterbalance American or Japanese power?
03:16   Precisely. Maastricht does not protect us at all against economic warfare
03:19   by the American and Japanese giants. I say
03:22   the exact opposite. When the Maastricht Treaty frees up
03:26   capital movement not only in the EU, but also to the outside world, and in particular to
03:31   the United States at the expense of employment in our country, does that strengthen Europe?
03:35   And when the Brussels Commission reduces import restrictions
03:39   on Japanese cars, does that strengthen Europe?
03:43   Believe me, a European Union worthy of the name would allow our countries
03:48   to help each other from our respective strengths.
03:52   To defend employment, developing it to promote growth
03:56   and master new technologies and financial flows.
04:00   All this kind of cooperation is good, but it can’t be done
04:03   as long as the bridle on the neck is left to the leaders of the multinationals
04:07   and the financial markets. It can only be won through powerful struggles,
04:11   through the solidarity of peoples across sovereign nations
04:14   that binds together and outward. Cooperation without domination.
04:20   And that is the opposite of Maastricht.
04:26   In your opinion, does France still have a chance to play a role
04:30   at the international level outside a European group?
04:33   It all depends on the type of unity. I’m going to plagiarize a writer friend
04:38   who often says that Don Quixote is universal only
04:42   because he is Spanish. I would say that Europe is only as great
04:46   as the nations of which it is composed. That is why I say that France,
04:50   of course, like any other country, cannot live in a state of withdrawal,
04:54   but it must not abandon what forms its own
04:57   personality, the so-called French exceptionalism.
05:00   The traditional attachment of our people to the values of freedom,
05:04   of critical thinking, social progress and solidarity with oppressed people,
05:07   people resisting domination, wherever it may
05:10   come from. I’m well aware that these values have declined
05:13   as a result of the policies of our governments, and among our people.
05:17   These values have declined, but they still live in the consciousness of millions of French people.
05:21   I only wish they would increase within a large segment of our youth,
05:25   because that’s what scares the promoters of this Europe. The sponsors only want to
05:30   see a head. Maastricht is the leveling of what is unconventional
05:34   in the French tradition. Take an example from foreign policy.
05:39   Maastricht prohibits any government from taking any foreign policy initiative
05:42   that does not conform with the wishes of the majority
05:45   of European states. It boggles the mind! I imagine that General de Gaulle
05:49   is turning over in his grave. He even dared to criticize the
05:53   Americans when all our European neighbors threw flowers to them.
05:57   A decade ago François Mitterrand made a speech
06:01   in Cancun to show the people of the Third World
06:06   the generous face of France that was different from the dominant powers.
06:11   He completely forgot about it. —But there’s still peace.
06:14   What do you mean? —The European Union is the guarantor of peace.
06:17   The president of the Republic told us that. —If European Union
06:21   guarantees peace, then someone has to explain to me why the
06:24   Maastricht Treaty provides for the strengthening of NATO’s European pillar.
06:27   Equipping it with nuclear weapons and with
06:30   rapid intervention forces such as the ones we saw in the Gulf,
06:33   which would be directed toward people of the East and the South.
 

7 thoughts on “French Communist, 1992: Politicians will tell you they can do nothing, because the EU orders come from Brussels

  1. An example of marxist analysis at its best: The effects of stringless dominance of big capital. Was Karl really a commie, after all?

  2. Once in a while, just like a broken clock, a communist is right (for the most part).
    This is one of those times!

  3. It’s hard to see Francis Wurtz as a communist. Today, he would be a Trump supporter in the US, or a right-wing nationalist in Europe. My opinion is that he was so radically against the prevailing, pro-globalist, pro-EU movement at the time, he had to find a significant ideological bloc to oppose the EU, and the communists were it. He implicitly denies the most salient feature of communism: ownership of everything, especially the means of production, by the state. Also, Wurtz does not speak of class differences in the communist manner: the self-awakening of the oppressed working classes. Instead, he distinguishes the international financiers and bureaucrats from everyone else, showing how the EU dominance would prevent people from following their interests.

    To call Francis Wurtz a communist is like putting a turkey in a flock of ducks. If there’s absolutely no other bird around, a turkey might hang out with ducks, but it’s never going to be a comfortable fit.

  4. There is a percentage of leftists–too small, alas–who are against the EU. Another example would be a Labor Party British MP–I forget her name–who is a Brexiteer. (She also tweeted about the murder of Christians in Africa by Muslims ).

    Those leftists, such as the one in the video, see that the EU is against some of their values.

    Being opposed to big business-government collusion is sensible to me.

    Being opposed to rule by unelected technocrats is sensible to me.

  5. This is from back in the day when a lot of commies HATED Big Guv.

    Then those [epithets] figured out that Big Guv was Communism’s biggest friend — that it would sever all forms of accountability and oversight — and allow the imposition of their totalitarian wet dreams to infinity, and beyond.

  6. Some communists in the Czech Republic speak the same speak, and make a lot of sense. Since 1990, that is. Do not forget that the West used to be their enemy, and they study and know their enemy. I think it’s a trap, devised by the communist international after the fall of the soviet union. Should they get power again, these “prominent communist intelectuals”, those in the party who make sense, would be pushed back stage, and the good old communist party line about the dictatorship of the proletariat would be reestablished.

    It’s a trap, don’t fall for communism! 😉

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