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against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusions

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A l’Est quoi de nouveau ?

And the question of Polish unemployed

Extract of the intervention of Ryszard Dul, Committee of the unemployed of Pomerania

Poland is passing through a very serious social and economic crisis. Unemployed are like guinea pigs in their own country, a « human subcategory ». They are experimenting new policies on us qualified as social policies. Nevertheless, nobody is interested in us, neither the politicians, be they left or right wing, nor trade unions –except at the time of the elections or in a demonstration - to fill buses. It is sad to say so but we have no rights.

They liquidate all social aid, as alimonies, leaving for one child only 170 zlotys (42€, minimum wage being 170 €), or aid for babies to support poor families, or maternity benefits. The government strikes at the most vulnerable, single mothers and defenceless children.

The law on social assistance stipulates that the minimum allowance covering poverty is worth 15 zlotys. It is really infuriating! Soon, retirement age for women will be raised to 65 years old while unemployment is increasing. However, in addition to their job, women look after their children and do housework. They reduce as well aid for disabled and elderly people. The Health care system is inefficient: people have to pay doctors and dentists out of their own pocket under the table. Although in theory, we have a public health system. The Constitution says that every citizen has a right to social protection, but corrupted politicians do not even respect the laws they voted themselves.

Extract of the intervention of Barbara Radziewicz, Committee of the unemployed from Mazuria

In Poland, we live in one of the most unfair social systems in Europe.

From 1996 to 2001, the proportion of persons living under the biological minima jumped from 4,3% to 9,5% and the number of families living under the social minima trebled representing now about 60%. There has not been any economic crash though.

In our region of Warmia Mazuria, we have more than a million undernourished children.

Here is the « shock therapy » designed to go towards market economy since 1989. This experimentation ran into a brick wall: we have a sick market and a sick state. We have come back on the way of primitive accumulation of capital, of the transfer of the poors’ subsistance to the riches' wealth. In 2005, we foresee the arrival of 900 000 young workers on the labour market but only 290,000 new jobs. The number of unemployed will increase by a hundred thousand people.

We want to live in a country where everyone should be able to reach his aspirations and ambitions, in a State treating everyone as an equal in a unified Europe and in the world. Therefore, we must join our forces and the struggle for local issues to the struggle against global capitalism, for fundamental values such as liberty, equality, tolerance, justice and social solidarity.