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Articles

Alternatives to reverse the crisis in Europe

Alternatives to reverse the crisis in Europe

 by Eric Toussaint

Alternatives to reverse the crisis in EuropeThis text proposes a series of concrete alternatives to counter the current crisis shaking Europe. It presents nineteen immediate measures that should be taken vis-à-vis finance in general and the banking sector in particular. In addition to these measures, it proposes to socialise the banking and insurance sectors, and to place them under citizen control. It then examines ten measures to be taken to reverse the crisis in a way that will be favourable to the vast majority of people. 1. Stopping austerity plans; 2. Repudiating all illegitimate, unsustainable, odious, and illegal public debt; 3. Cancelling all illegitimate and illegal private debt; 4. Increasing the resources of public authorities; 5. Decreasing inequalities by establishing fiscal justice; 6. Setting up legitimate government borrowing; 7. Developing and extending public services; 8. Strengthening the pension system based on intergenerational solidarity; 9. Radically decreasing working hours to guarantee jobs for everyone, and adopting an income policy that will bring about social justice; 10. Questioning the basis of the euro and taking action to build a different Europe, which would mean replacing the current treaties based on a true democratic process involving all the peoples of Europe. These are the propositions the CADTM is putting forward for discussion and debate.

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April 25, 1974 - Forty years after the portuguese Carnation Revolution

April 25, 1974 - Forty years after the portuguese Carnation Revolution

COSTA Jorge Duarte

Portugal-25 de AbrilOn the eve of April 25, Portuguese society was smouldering from contradictions accumulated in half a century of dictatorship. At the heart of these contradictions was a war that lasted thirteen years, to hold on to the African colonies of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe. This conflict conditioned the whole of national life, because of the social suffering caused by the mobilization of two hundred thousand men, a tenth of the working population (a human cost equivalent to twice that of Vietnam), because of the wave of migration driven by hunger and the war, and because of the impossibility of a military solution, the only one contemplated by the regime.

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Inde : l’élection de tous les dangers

Inde : l’élection de tous les dangers

ROUSSET Pierre

Rousset PierreLe scrutin législatif en cours revêt une importance toute particulière pour l’Inde, le favori des sondages promouvant un nationalisme agressif d’extrême droite, racial et religieux.

L’organisation d’élections générales en Inde mobilise une logistique gigantesque : 814 millions d’électrices et d’électeurs sont appelés aux urnes ; initié le 7 avril, le scrutin législatif se poursuivra ainsi pendant 37 jours. Rares sont les partis implantés dans l’ensemble du pays et les formations régionales fleurissent, si bien qu’une majorité gouvernementale exige la constitution d’alliances à géométrie variable. Dans ces conditions, les journalistes se gardent de prédictions aléatoires. Mais quelques lignes de force apparaissent, fort inquiétantes.

Le Parti du Congrès, héritier de l’Indépendance en 1947, revenu au pouvoir en 2004 après une éclipse, se trouve aujourd’hui discrédité. Rejeton de la dynastie familiale à la tête de cette formation, Rahul Gandhi, 43 ans, n’a pas l’envergure nécessaire pour redresser la situation. Cela semble la seule certitude.

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Notes on the French situation after the local elections and the 12th April demonstration

Notes on the French situation after the local elections and the 12th April demonstration

SABADO François

Sabado1) The last municipal elections represent a new worsening of the political balance of forces for the left and the labour movement. 150 cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants swung from SP or CP-led to the right or far right.
Of course, after years of social-liberalism where the SP took its distance from the labour movement, a defeat of the SP at the polls no longer automatically indicates a defeat of the workers’ movement.
These workers, who do not feel represented by the parliamentary left any more, do not feel the bankruptcy of the Socialists to be theirs, fortunately. They even abstained massively (between 50 and 60 % of the registered voters in the popular suburbs or regions).

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Les nouveaux prêts à la Grèce sont odieux, illégitimes, insoutenables et illégaux

Les nouveaux prêts à la Grèce sont odieux, illégitimes, insoutenables et illégaux

par Eric Toussaint, Robin Delobel

2014-04-21 02 soon-all-the-greeksLe CADTM tient à apporter son soutien au peuple grec qui s’oppose aux diktats de la Troïka (Commission européenne, Banque centrale européenne, FMI). Les nouveaux prêts accordés en 2014 sont liés à un paquet de mesures antisociales qui vont dégrader un peu plus les conditions de vie de la majorité de la population grecque.

Après des mois de négociation entre la Troïka et les responsables grecs, la loi-cadre, appelée aussi loi omnibus, a été votée, comme le déclare Reuters, «  conformément aux exigences des bailleurs de fonds internationaux de la Grèce ». Ce texte vise à permettre la nouvelle tranche « d’aide » à la Grèce, un prêt de 8,5 milliards d’euros. Remise aux parlementaires à 1h30 du matin le samedi 29 mars, cette loi de plus de 800 pages a été approuvée à la hussarde avec quelques voix de majorité le dimanche 30 mars avant minuit ! Une nouvelle fois les règles démocratiques élémentaires ont été foulées au pied.

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Climate Change: IPCC recognizes inequality as a key for “climate risk”. But we must go much further than that

Climate Change: IPCC recognizes inequality as a key for “climate risk”. But we must go much further than that

COSTA Alexandre

2014-04-21 01 Climate-changeLast year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change started the publication of its 5th Assessment Report (or AR5), initially showing the work by the Working Group I, which deals with the physical basis of climate change. Now, the AR5 process continued with the publication of the “Summary for Policy Makers” by the Working Group II, concerning “impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.”

It is common for the socialist left to neglect the issue of climate change. But this is a very serious mistake. We insist that seeking answers to the central question of the ecological crisis in general (and in particular the climate crisis) is crucial to the struggle of the working classes and the poor in the 21st century. After all, the fight to avoid a catastrophic outcome to this crisis engendered by capitalism is the fight to safeguard the material conditions for survival with dignity of humankind. No Socialism is possible in an isolated country. No Socialism is possible while keeping sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia. Socialism is not possible on a scorched Earth.

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Eurodad report shows how IMF lending often makes crisis countries’ situations worse

Eurodad report shows how IMF lending often makes crisis countries’ situations worse

  by Eurodad

FMIAs the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prepares for its Spring meetings, new research reveals that the number of conditions it attaches to its loans are rising – and they continue to be linked to harsh austerity measures and interfere in sensitive policy areas. Conditionally Yours: An analysis of the policy conditions attached to IMF loans is the latest in a series of reports on the IMF’s lending practices produced by the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) over the past decade.

IMF loans come with conditions which are often highly controversial, for example influencing taxes and cutting spending; freezing or reducing public sector wages; and mandating cutbacks in welfare programmes, including pensions. There are also conditions on the restructuring and privatisation of public enterprises, and conditions that reduce minimum wage levels.

Although the IMF has said it has tried to “streamline” its conditional lending, Eurodad counted an average of 19.5 structural conditions per programme – a sharp increase since 2005-7 when Eurodad found an average of 13.7 conditions. The biggest loans had the heaviest conditions, with exceptionally high numbers in Cyprus, Greece and Jamaica – which totalled an average of 35 structural conditions per programme.

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Ukraine : après la chute de Ianoukovitch, quels Maidan ?

Ukraine : après la chute de Ianoukovitch, quels Maidan ?

SAMARY Catherine

Samary CatherineLes élections présidentielles du 25 mai ne stabiliseront pas le pays. Il faut que la population de toutes les régions soit saisie des grands enjeux et détermine ses droit sociaux et nationaux sur la base de l'indépendance du pays.

Après la chute du président Ianoukovitch, on est passé d'une phase de mobilisation d'une population largement défiante envers tous les partis, à un gouvernement de partis discrédités parlant en son nom : d'où aussi la surreprésentation des composantes les plus organisées au sein du mouvement – la droite et l'extrême-droite, implantées principalement dans l'ouest et le centre du pays. Cela facilite la présentation réductrice de Maidan assimilée à sa droite et à son extrème-droite principalement implantées dans l'ouest et le centre du pays. Cette réduction accompagne la thèse du "coup dEtat fasciste" soutenu par l'occident contre la Russie, et menaçant les populations russophones – auxquelles Poutine vient porter secours.

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European poll pre-selections: Left unity elusive in Spain

European poll pre-selections: Left unity elusive in Spain

NICHOLS Dick

26 March 2014

PodemosLinks International Journal of Socialist Renewal — As the May 25 European elections approach, a question that concerns left and progressive people in the Spanish state is just how many left alternatives will end up running against the “parties of government”—the ruling conservative People’s Party (PP) and the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE).

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Elections municipales : défaite pour le PS, surplace de l’UMP, enracinement pour le FN

Elections municipales : défaite pour le PS, surplace de l’UMP, enracinement pour le FN

HUERTAS Hubert

hollande-marineLe premier tour des élections municipales a rendu son verdict et il est national. Le Parti socialiste et donc le gouvernement et le président de la République subissent la sanction qu’ils espéraient éviter. L’UMP ne capitalise pas franchement sur cet échec. Mais le Front national en fait son miel. Au-delà de la victoire de Steeve Briois dès le premier tour et de ses bons résultats dans plusieurs autres villes, le FN a déjà fait élire 456 représentants dans les conseils municipaux…

Les élections municipales n’ont pas dérogé à une règle vérifiée six fois depuis trente-cinq ans : 1977, grosse défaite de la droite,1983, fort recul de la gauche, 1995, percée du Front national, 2001, reflux socialiste, 2008, échec de la droite, 2014, enfin, claque en vue pour le Parti socialiste. Quoi que disent et répètent les sondages, les électeurs ne se déterminent donc pas uniquement en fonction des salles polyvalentes et des impôts locaux, mais sanctionnent plus ou moins sévèrement le pouvoir en place.

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Why pay off our public debt?

Why pay off our public debt?

  by Eric Toussaint

Eric Toussaint“Here in Europe, the European Central Bank is not allowed to lend money to member States, so the monopoly for lending money to the public powers in the Euro zone is left in the hands of the private bankers who take full advantage of this in order to set the kind of interest rates that benefit them the most. In other words, they currently lend money to the BCE at 0.25% and then proceed to lend Italy money at 4%. When things are going badly for Italy, they lend us money at 6-7%. The citizens have to take the initiative when it comes to conducting a “debt audit”, asking the right questions and coming up with the answers themselves, without being too concerned about the fact that there is a major economics and finance expert.” Éric Toussaint

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Tuzla (Bosnia-Herzgovina), the unknown capital of the Europe of workers and peoples

Tuzla (Bosnia-Herzegovina), the unknown capital of the Europe of workers and peoples

BESANCENOT Olivier

BESANCENOT OlivierWhy does Bosnia-Herzegovina inspire so little interest and curiosity in the media and the political class when, on the contrary, Ukraine is front-page news? Is it because of its non-membership of the European Union? Is it because its name evokes the war that, twenty years ago, claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of men and women – more than 200,000 dead and 600,000 exiles – in the face of virtual indifference in the West as to what was happening one and a half hours by plane from Paris ? Or because it often wakes up to the call of the muezzin?

Yet in recent weeks, this country has also risen in revolt. The people has rebelled against social injustice and poverty and expressed loud and clear its desire for change.

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Tuzla (Bosnia): building solidarities – "The challenge is that people become more aware of their common strength, to build a cohesive society"

Tuzla (Bosnia): building solidarities – "The challenge is that people become more aware of their common strength, to build a cohesive society"

RADOMIROVIC Miroljub, ALEKSIC Kassia

Interview with Miroljub Radomirović, jurist, and founding member of the Bosnian political party "Lijevi", "Left".

TuzlaOn 5 February, people set fire to the government building of Tuzla Canton, rebelling against criminal privatization, unpaid wages, and the corrupt ruling oligarchy. Violence was deemed necessary for people to finally get their voice heard, and overcome poverty. Ministers have resigned, and people have been taking control over political life. Soon after, more than 700 citizens gathered in Plenums, where they practice direct democracy. This "Tuzla effect" has spread throughout other towns in Bosnia Herzegovina... and this blast of anger has gained the streets in Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, in such a way that we're already speaking, in France and in Europe, of a Balkan "spring".

But in Tuzla, prospects go beyond a single season. People have been waiting for this moment for twenty years. The situation is charged with such hopes that it is better to hold on to reality – and keep a distance from the vertigo of such an ongoing revolution. It's a matter of proceeding step by step, to build solid bases for a political and social justice meant to last, by being very concrete.

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Ukraine : On the influence of fascism in EuroMaidan

Ukraine : On the influence of fascism in EuroMaidan

AN INTERVIEW WITH MIRA, ANDREI, AND SASCHA OF ANTIFASCIST ACTION UKRAINE

ukraine-far-rightSascha, Andrei, and Mira are members of AntiFascist Union Ukraine, a group that monitors and fights fascism in Ukraine. We sat down to talk about the influence of fascism in EuroMaidan, this is what they told me :

Sascha : There are lots of Nationalists here, including Nazis. They came from all over Ukraine, and they make up about 30% of protesters.

Mira : The two biggest groups are Svoboda and Pravy Sektor (Right Sector). The defense forces aren’t 100% Pravy but a large percentage is.

S : Svoboda is more legal as a group, but they also have an illegal militant faction. Pravy Sektor is more illegal, but they want to usurp Svoboda.

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Left Opposition: Ukraine will be saved from intervention by solidarity

Left Opposition: Ukraine will be saved from intervention by solidarity

Left-Opposition-UkraineThe socialist union "Left Opposition" offers its assessment of the Russian aggression in Crimea and the destructive role of Ukrainian nationalists. The intervention of Russian armies was made possible as a result of a split in Ukrainian society. Its unity is impossible with the oligarchs and chauvinists in power. Only solidarity will save Ukraine.

1) We are for the self determination of Crimea only after the withdrawal of the Russian armies that are carrying out this flagrant intervention. We are for the self determination of the people, and not of the mercenary elite who "self determine" so as to protect themselves from Crimeans with the muzzles of Russian automatic weapons. The outcome of separatism in Crimea will become the rebirth of the Russian empire, which threatens a world war.

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