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.

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.

European poll pre-selections: Left unity elusive in Spain


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).

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


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.

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

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


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.

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


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.

Ukraine : On the influence of fascism in EuroMaidan


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.

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.

Maidan and Its Contradictions: Interview with a Ukrainian Revolutionary Syndicalist


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.

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.

On the situation in Ukraine


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.

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.

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.

Ukraine – Quelle victoire ?

SAMARY Catherine
24 février 2014

2014-02-26 01 SamaryPrès de 80 morts sur les pavés de Maïdan, devenus les martyrs du peuple tout entier révolté, ont fait basculer une part importante de l'appareil politique et policier du président Ianoukovitch, se déclarant « du côté du peuple ». S'agit-il d'une sortie de crise ?

Le parlement a voté vendredi 21 février le retour à la Constitution de 2004 contre l'évolution présidentialiste du régime, puis décidé la libération de l'opposante libérale Ioulia Timochenko en prison depuis deux ans. Dénonçant un « coup d'Etat », Viktor Ianoukovitch a quitté Kiev et aurait été empêché de s'envoler vers la Russie par les gardes frontières, dans son propre fief du Donetsk. Les députés l'ont déclaré dans l'incapacité d'exercer le pouvoir.

Ukraine's Protest Movement: Is a 'Left Sector' Possible?

BUDRAITSKIS Ilya, 12 February 2014

Political analysis from Ilya Budraitskis written as he visited Kiev in the midst of revolution.

EbpoMaidanBack in mid-December, our estimate of Ukraine's political crisis as a "revolutionary situation" resulted in a lot of critical reviews. Further, the use of the word "revolution" in the context of Ukraine was condemned as a kind of sacrilege, because the events in Kiev appeared to be totally incomparable to the grandeur of past revolutions. There are no proclamations about the beginning of a new world, and no discussions of the socialization of property, while the social order established over the last two decades of post-Soviet rule has itself not been called into question. But a revolution's political content may not totally correspond to its dynamics: the masses' actual experience, their determination and ability to organize on their own, may be far ahead of their "political imagination." And if the revolution fails simply by virtue of a lack of independent political projects, it never ceases to be a revolution.

J’ai vu l’autre Ukraine, celle qui célèbre les SS et crimes nazis

MONNIER Louis, 3 décembre 2013

svoboda-partyDepuis que l’Ukraine a refusé de signer un accord d’association avec l’Union européenne, d’imposantes manifestations pro-européennes ont lieu à Kiev, la capitale. En leur sein, on trouve paradoxalement des partisans de la formation politique ultra-nationaliste Svoboda. Une présence qui mène Louis Monnier, professeur d’histoire-géographie à la retraite, à relater une scène à laquelle il a assisté il y a quelques mois.

Édité par Hélène Decommer

[Pour les photos qui accompagnent cet article, se reporter à la version originale sur le site du Nouvel Obs.]

En ces temps où l’on parle de l’Ukraine pour son refus de signer un accord avec l’UE et les manifestations pro-européennes qui en découlent, voici un autre visage du pays, que j’ai pu voir de mes propres yeux.

Cet été, je me suis rendu dans la région de Brody, dans l’ouest ukrainien, avec une amie canadienne d’origine ukrainienne (et ukrainophone). Le 21 juillet 2013, j’ai assisté à un événement assez surprenant pour un européen occidental.



2014-02-21 01 Marcha DignidadEn 2014 nos encontramos ante una situación extremadamente difícil, una situación límite, de emergencia social, que nos convoca a dar una respuesta colectiva y masiva de la clase trabajadora, la ciudadanía y los pueblos.
Millones de trabajadores y trabajadoras se encuentran sin empleo. Tener unas manos para trabajar; tener una carrera terminada; disponer de tu capacidad tanto manual como intelectual y no encontrar un trabajo digno es humillante. Se está desperdiciando el talento colectivo de una sociedad, hipotecando indefinidamente su futuro. Los trabajadores y trabajadoras no se merecen este atropello a nuestra dignidad colectiva.

Contre l'agrobusiness, quelle agriculture paysanne?

Intervention de Roxanne Mitralias à l'école anticapitaliste le 17/03/2013

Introduction : Pourquoi s’intéresser à l’agriculture et l’alimentation ?

2014-02-19 02 contre-lagrobusinessParce-que tout simplement, sans cultiver la terre et sans manger, un autre monde n’est pas possible. N’oublions pas que dans les pays en crise, se nourrir redevient une priorité absolue.

Parce-que cette thématique est à cheval entre travail et nature (on produit depuis la nature avec elle), elle se situe donc entre social et écologique, elle combine revendications immédiates et projet émancipateur (demander de plafonner les aides de la PAC, c’est privilégier les modes de production plus respectueux de l’environnement par exemple).  C’est une bataille globale mais se décline aussi en expériences locales (paniers de légumes, coopératives alimentaires…). Enfin elle est sectorielle (puisque il s’agit d’un combat syndical dans la paysannerie) et en même temps concerne l’ensemble de la population quand il s’agit d’alimentation.

Open Letter of support for Citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina

Open Letter of support for Citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina  We, the undersigned, express our full support for the legitimate demands and justified outrage of citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their cry for a decent life, true democracy, solidarity that knows no borders—be them ethnic, national or religious, social equality and justice—resonates throughout the world. In a similar fashion to the citizens of Tahrir, Zuccotti Park, Taksim or Syntagma, the Bosnian protestors showed a courage to go beyond all institutional obstacles and all limitations that governments around the world impose on their citizens and reclaimed their streets and squares. The people of Bosnia-Herzegovina are standing against the system of exploitation, injustice and inequality that has been serving only and exclusively a tiny political, economic and financial elite.