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European Left Party

Party of the European Left’s fourth congress: building unity to build hope

By Dick Nichols

February 24, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- When the 200-plus delegates finally voted on the two main documents presented to the fourth congress of the Party of the European Left (EL), held on December 13-15, 2013, in Madrid, there was a faint murmur of surprise at the degree of support received. After all, the EL is a mix of different but related political sensibilities, bringing together “anti-capitalist, communist, socialist, ecologist, feminist, eco-socialist, republican and other democratic forces”[i].

Its affiliates embody different national political cultures and are based on all sides of the widening north-south and east-west economic and social ravines that cross Europe, the European Union and the Eurozone. Moreover, it is only 10 years old, created in 2004 in a forced march driven by the process of European integration and the need to compete with other European “party families”.

Alexis Tsipras' program for the European Commission presidency: 'A mandate for hope and change'

Programmatic declaration of Alexis Tsipras, candidate of the Party of the European Left for the presidency of the European Commission

The following document was released in January 2014. Alexis Tsipras is also leader of the radical left party Syriza.

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By Alexis Tsipras

Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal on February 21, 2014 -- The Party of the European Left elected me candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, at its fourth congress December 13-15, 2013, in Madrid.

It is an honour and a mandate. The honour is not only personal. The candidacy of the leader of the main opposition in Greece [Syriza] symbolises recognition of the sacrifices made by the Greek people. It also symbolises solidarity for all the people in Europe’s south who are suffering the catastrophic social consequences of the Memoranda of austerity and recession.

Alexis Tsipras: End austerity to regain democracy! For a democratic, social and ecological Europe!

Left.gr -- Alexis Tsipras, president of SYRIZA and candidate of the European Left party for the precidency of the European Commission, spoke on January 18, 2014, in a debate organised by the Dutch Socialist Party in Amersfoort. Here's the full text of his speech.

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Your invitation, which I appreciate a lot, came at the right moment. Not because, as you might know, I am candidate of the European Left for the presidency of the European Commission. But because, yes indeed, democracy in Europe is in retreat. And this is the reason, the purpose and the real meaning of my candidacy: to end austerity to regain democracy.

Democracy is in retreat. And the reason is neoliberalism.

1. It is neoliberal austerity that causes recession, zero or low and jobless growth. With the Netherlands expected to reach in 2017 the real economic output level of 2008. Austerity brought youth unemployment in the Eurozone to the unprecedented 25%.

2. It is, also, the lack of transparency, lack of legitimacy and lack of accountability and credibility of the European institutions. The European Union is distant from the peoples of Europe in all respects. It has alienated its citizens. That’s why the people react with apathy, distrust and euroscepticism.

Álvaro García Linera: A message to the left of Europe and the world

Álvaro García Linera at the congress of the European left in Madrid on December 14, 2013.

By Álvaro García Linera, translated by Marie-Rose Ardiaca

Transform! Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission-- The vice-president of the Multinational state of Bolivia Álvaro García Linera gave a speech at the fourth congress of the Party of the European Left, which took place in Madrid on December 13-15, 2013.

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Please allow me hail this meeting of the European Left and, in the name of our President, of our country and of our people thank you for inviting us to exchange a whole body of opinions and ideas on the platform of this most important Congress of the European left.

Please allow me to be blunt but also to put forward proposals.

How do we see Europe from the outside? We see a Europe that is flagging, we see a demoralised Europe, withdrawn and turning inwards yet very self-satisfied, and we see a Europe rather apathetic and tired. These are very ugly and harsh words -- but that is how we see Europe.

France: Activist pressure forces truce within Front de Gauche

January 17 leadership meeting between the PCF and the Left Party.

By Dick Nichols

January 29, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- To the an almost audible sigh of relief from its tens of thousands of activists, the two main forces in France’s nine-party Left Front (Front de Gauche)—the Communist Party (Parti Communiste Français, PCF) and the Left Party (Parti de Gauche) of Jean-Luc Mélenchon—have called a halt to hostilities that were not only undermining its chances in France’s March municipal elections but also those of the Party of the European Left (PGE) in the May 25 European poll.

Europe: Socialism and the European left -- an interview with Murray Smith

Joonas Laine of the Finnish publication Revalvaatio interviews Murray Smith on socialism, the European Union and the perspectives of the European Left.

December 12, 2013 -- Revalvaatio -- Murray Smith is a Scottish socialist who has been involved in leftist politics in various Western European countries since the 1960s. Since 2009 he has lived in Luxemburg, where he takes part in the activities of the left party déi Lenk and was elected to be the party’s representative in the European Left Party’s executive bureau in 2010.

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Alexis Tsipras: Left can unite to build a better Europe

"Europe needs an anti-austerity and anti-recession front, a solidarity movement for its working people, north and south" -- Alexis Tsipras.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, has announced he is standing presidency of the European Commission on behalf of the European Left Party. This article appeared in the November 28, 2013, Guardian.

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More than 1000 young people a day are joining the ranks of Europe's unemployed. In the past four years the army of jobless people across the continent has grown by more than 10 million.

In Greece, despite the government's claim that austerity has been a success, the 2014 budget imposes new public spending cuts and more job losses. The economic and humanitarian catastrophe is unprecedented in peacetime: 27% unemployment, 60% youth unemployment, a 25% shrinking of GDP, 40% reduction in family income. And, even after relentless pain, the debt-to-GDP ratio is almost 180%. It was only 120% in 2010 when the first austerity measures were imposed.

European left statements against the threat of US-led war on Syria (updated Sept. 3)

Below are a number of statements (or news reports of statements) by European left parties on the crisis in Syria. More will be posted (or expanded) as they come to hand.They include Die Linke (Germany), Syriza (Greece), the Party of the European Left and the New Anti-Capitalist Party (France).

Die Linke: German government's support for war coalition is insanity

August 27, 2013 -- Die Linke -- "A military strike of the US threatens to escalate the conflict in Syria to become an international war“, warns Christine Buchholz, member of the executive board of the party Die Linke.

The attack of the US army using cruise missiles threatens to cause a wildfire, further aggravating the suffering of the Syrian population. With the assault the US government does not help the people in Syria but will solely demonstrate its military supremacy in the region.

Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle said yesterday that Germany "in close coordination with its allies" will be among those „that consider consequences to be appropriate. "This boils down to nothing else but support of impending military assaults. The support of an evolving US-led war coalition is insanity".

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on political and social situation facing Greece and Europe

September 27, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's left party SYRIZA, visited the European Parliament as a guest of the United Left Group/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), the coalition of radical left parliamentarians in the European Parliament to which SYRIZA is affiliated. At a press conference, Tsipras discussed the current economic, political and social situation facing Greece and the European Union. Chaired by Gabi Zimmer, GUE/NGL president, from Germany's Die Linke party.

Europe Against Austerity conference builds enthusiasm for fightback

By Fred Leplat

October 3, 2011 -- Socialist Resistance -- The Europe Against Austerity conference, held in London on October 1, was attended by 681 people including 150 from outside Britain. This happened the same weekend that two big demonstrations took place. In Glasgow, there was the "People First" demonstration of 15,000 called by the Scottish TUC on October 1. On October 2, 35,000 joined a demonstration in Manchester on outside the Conservative Party conference, called by the Trades Union Congress and backed by the Coalition of Resistance and the Right to Work Campaign.

(Updated Sept. 28) International solidarity with the Honduran people's struggle for democracy

Solidarity demonstration, Sydney, September 24, 2009.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal below is publishing various solidarity statements and reports of actions in solidarity with the democracy struggle of the people of Honduras. More will be posted as they come to hand.

Socialist Alliance: `Australia must act for democracy in Honduras'

Below is an open letter from the Socialist Alliance to Australia's foreign affairs minister, Stephen Smith, calling on the Australian Labor government to act for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of President Manuel Zelaya, and the restoration of democracy in Honduras.

A balance sheet of the European elections

Left Bloc supporters in Portugal.

By François Sabado

The principal lessons of the European elections of June 7, 2009, are the following: massive abstention; progress for the right flanked by the far right; a collapse of social democracy; an increase in the votes for the ecologists; while the radical left, left reformists and anti-capitalists maintained their position, without making new advances, except in Portugal and Ireland.

Crisis of legitimacy

First of all, the recent European elections confirmed widespread popular abstention. The rate of abstention, at 57 per cent across the European Union, increased compared to the election of 2004, where it had already, at 54.6 per cent, beaten the previous record. The level of abstention decreased in nine countries and increased in 17. This level of abstention provides a fresh demonstration of the crisis of legitimacy of the European Union and the governing parties which situate their policies within this framework. It is the result of the peoples of Europe being marginalised in the process of building a European Union that is neoliberal and anti-democratic.

Greece: Left prospects in the post-PASOK era

By Michalis Spourdalakis

In the last few years, the political alignments in the European Union (EU) countries have changed drastically. In the 1990s, social-democratic parties and centre-left political forces were dominant. Under the banners of “progressive governance” or “modernisation” these parties ruled numerous countries and dominated the political scene on the continent.

Today, it is no secret that after long years in government, these political forces, what some like to call the “governmental left” are, to say the least, in retreat. It is indeed no secret that social democracy is in deep crisis: the recent congress of the French Socialists proved that this party is going through a period of self-questioning over the issue of its leadership, but also that it had nothing new to offer or, as a conservative daily commented, it appears as if “it does not think any more”.

Portugal: Where is the Left Bloc going?

On June 2-3, 2007 the Fifth National Convention of the Left Bloc took place in Lisbon. Since its creation in 1999, this unitary organisation of the anti-capitalist Left in Portugal has strongly consolidated itself and has established a presence in the country. Today it has become a significant force, with 4200 members, an active presence in struggles and social movements, as well as 350 local councillors and eight members of parliament. The following interview with Francisco Louça was conducted on July 7, 2007. It was conducted by Jean Batou of the Swiss organisation SolidariteS.

Q. The Left Bloc is a pluralist party of the socialist Left. How does it define itself in relation to the hard core of the socialist program, in the strong sense of the term, i.e. to the socialisation of the large-scale means of production, distribution, credit, etc? How do you tackle the key question of property in your program? Is it possible to refound an anti-capitalist left without taking a clear position on this question?

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