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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

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?

  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-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"

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

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-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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Maidan and Its Contradictions: Interview with a Ukrainian Revolutionary Syndicalist

Correspondent(s)

maidan-and-its-contradictionsFor weeks and weeks, we have been looking at Ukrainian events, trying to make sense of what has been happening in Kyiv and other cities. We had read many texts, comments and interviews and discussed about Maidan, but we had been always arriving only at new questions to be answered. Thus, when a possibility occurred to get in touch with Ukrainian comrades one of us tried to use it as best as he could. As a result of that effort and thanks to kindness and patience of Denis from a Kyiv branch of a revolutionary syndicalist group called Autonomous Workers Union the following interview came into existence. Hopefully, it will provide you with many useful insights into the Maidan movement and its context.

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Ukraine : ni troupes russes, ni fascisme, ni institutions euro-atlantiques

3 mars par Catherine Samary

Ukraine : ni troupes russes, ni fascisme, ni institutions euro-atlantiquesLa chute de Ianoukovitch n’est pas “un coup” fasciste ; mais la composition et les orientations du “gouvernement d’union” soutenu par les puissances occidentales vont faire exploser l’Ukraine.
Les présentations complotistes et polaires occultent les enjeux sociaux et démocratiques, en s’appuyant sur une part de vérité.

Du coté de Maidan : C’est un mouvement populaire, défiant envers tous les partis, qui a fait chuter Ianoukovitch, à cause de ses propres méthodes : plus que sur l’Europe, Maidan s’est massivement mobilisé contre “la famille” régnante, oligarchique et le cours de plus en plus répressif et personnel du régime, en craignant qu’une intégration aux projets de Poutine aggrave ces dérives.

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On the situation in Ukraine

BUDRAITSKIS Ilya*

19 February 2014

 BudraitskisIn Kiev tens of thousands risk their lives to protect the Maiden from police aggression. A participant in the January protests, socialist activist Ilya Budraitskis, argues that the left needs to be a stronger and more visible force in the movement.

 Ilya, you’re active in the “Socialist Movement of Russia” and were in Kiev to observe the recent protests. What was the reason for your visit?

Ilya Budraitskis – We have strong links to the left in Ukraine and I travelled to Kiev two weeks ago in the wake of anti-demonstration laws that rendered Ukraine a virtual police state.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar Rising: The Most Divided City in Bosnia is Standing up to Nationalism and Government Corruption

25 February by Revolution News

Photo: Avi BlechermanEvery day more and more citizens are overcoming their fears and misconceptions and joining the protest movement in Mostar, one of the most essential cities active in the current uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They gather every day, and have plenums (popular assemblies) a few times a week. They teach themselves direct democracy and activism – they will not be victims anymore. They are building civil power through direct action, and aim to reclaim their lives – the war is not over.

About six months ago, this amazing man Muharem Hindić – aka “Mušica” or “fly” in english – stood here and demonstrated alone.
Photo: Avi Blecherman

Every day, Mušica would stand in the square near city hall, holding a banner in his hand, protesting the government’s ineffectiveness that led to the lack of medical attention which caused the death of a sick baby. Government officials could not decide who should take responsibility for the care of the baby, and time ran out before they acted. Beyond the tragedy of the case, the incident serves as a symbol of how stuck the every day lives of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are, when politics and politicians are not in service of the citizens, but a burden weighing on their shoulders.

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UKRAINE: Communique №1 of "Borotba" Union and center of antifascist resistance from 25 February 2014

 BorotbaAs "Borotba" predicted in the November-December, victory of Maidan will lift to power ultraliberal and Nazi block. Approximate composition of new government recently published just proves our conclusion.

Future Premier Arsenii Yatsenyuk, whose candidature was actively supported by EU bureaucrats (Elmar Brock), stated: "Western world will help come out of a crisis... Immediate help from our European partners is required. Program with IMF should be resumed immediately."

We remind that the requirement for the gaining IMF money is the raising taxes for population to the level of world prices, reduction of social benefits and acceleration of neoliberal reforms. This Yatsenyuk's statement means that new government will listen to the voice of international financial structures, but not the voice of people.

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