|Photo by linksfraktion|
There are few starting points for opposition. German trade unions try to secure their slice of the cake, but fail to unravel the context of the Eurozone crisis. Germany experiences a dramatic export boom, based in the combination of Germany’s high productivity with cuts in workers’ salaries and working conditions over the last 10 years. Thus, it is German workers, who pay for capital’s export success. To date, trade unions have been unable to communicate this fact to their members and the wider public. On the other hand, there are emerging protests against risky, unnecessary infrastructure projects, imposed on the public, including airport extensions and the related increase in noise levels, speculation in real estate and gentrification, or the destruction of public transport infrastructure. Legitimated with Merkel’s philosophy of “market-compliant democracy”, it is difficult to find a headline for these protests.
|Photo by to.wi|
Importantly, there is a link between the protests against Stuttgart 21, European austerity policy as well as Merkel’s rule. This may especially be interesting for the discussion in those European countries, which suffer from Merkel’s European austerity policy: Germany fraudulently obtained a subsidy of â‚¬114.5 million from the European Union by referring to a spectacular increase in capacity of the new Stuttgart railway station. Fraudulently, because the capacity of the projected station lies in fact a third below the capacity of the existing station (see AktionsbÃ¼ndnis demands that Chancellor Merkel clears up the EU- Subsidy-Scandal). It is important to communicate this fraud more widely, especially within the anti-austerity protests across Europe. Resistance to Stuttgart 21 is, in a way, directly linked to resistance against austerity in Greece, Portugal and elsewhere. Making these links clearer will help to connect individual moments of resistance with each other across Europe.