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Europe

Winning power, not just government

 

 

By Florian Wilde

 

May 6, 2017
 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Jacobin with the author's permission Is it a shortcut, if it’s seemingly the only path on offer? Many left parties in Europe today see participating in a center-left coalition government as the only realistic way to win reforms. They often justify joining these administrations by reasoning that having a left party in government will at least block the most regressive policies and keep a more reactionary formation from taking power. These parties also believe government participation will increase their credibility in the eyes of voters and members, ultimately strengthening their prospects to govern on their own.

 

Twenty-five years of history, however, suggest that these expectations are rarely met.

 

Ten proposals to beat the European Union

 
 

By Eric Toussaint, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Teresa Rodríguez, Angela Klein, Stathis Kouvelakis, Costas Lapavitsas, Zoe Konstantopoulou, Marina Albiol, Olivier Besancenot, Rommy Arce, et al.

 

February 28, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt — This collective text (full list of signatories here) initiated by Eric Toussaint, of the CADTM campaign for the abolition of the debt of the global South has been collectively discussed and co-signed by personalities and activists from more than 15 European countries representing a wide range of forces of the radical and anticapitalist Left: Podemos and Izquierda Unida in Spain, the Portuguese Left Bloc, the Left Party, the NPA and Ensemble in France, Popular Unity and Antarsya in Greece, the radical Danish left and activists from countries such as Cyprus, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Hungary. It is signed by MEPs from different parties and countries, by the head of finance of the City of Madrid, by the former president of the Greek Parliament, by a series of members of the Commission For the truth on the Greek debt. All the signatories are involved in the ongoing discussions about a “plan B” for Europe.

 

The Law and Justice Party and Poland’s turn to the right

 

 

Jarosław Kaczyński and Beata Szydlo

 

By Gavin Rae and Czesław Kulesza

 

January 19, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transform! Europe –– It has been over a year since the conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) took over complete governmental control in Poland. The presidential election won by Andrzej Duda in May 2015 and the victory of PiS five months later, gave party’s leader Jarosław Kaczyński almost total control of the state.

 

Behind Europe's banking crisis

 

 

Dick Nichols responds to a comment by Jurriaan Bendien on his
November 1 article " European financial system: next crash just around the corner?"

 

December 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Thanks to Jurriaan Bendien for his comment, and my apologies for not finishing this reply earlier. A lot has been happening in the Spanish state that needs covering and it also took me quite a bit of research to work out what I make of the issues Jurriaan raised.

 

To begin, I agree that it was misleading to write that “the chief pressure squeezing bank profitability has come directly from the real economic conditions, from the subdued demand for loans” (emphasis added here). Real economic forces such as the level of consumer demand don’t operate directly on the banking sector as they do on firms producing commodities for sale on the market, but indirectly, mainly through changes in interest rates.

 

However, I still hold to the point I was trying to make with that wrongly worded sentence. That is, of the forces shaping bank profitability it is the subdued demand for credit that is most driving actual levels of lending to business and, as a consequence, also compressing banking sector profitability in Europe.

 

Italian constitutional referendum: next win for ‘populism’?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — “The mother of all wars”: that’s how, in the September issue of the left magazine Critica Marxista, constitutional law professor Claudio De Fiores described the campaign around Italy’s referendum on amending the country’s 1948 constitution.

 

It was no exaggeration.

'We refuse a Europe of permanent austerity' - Statement for a Standing Plan B in Europe

 

 

November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The following statement was adopted at the "Internationalist Summit for a Plan B in Europe" organised by The Red-Green Alliance (Denmark), Left Party (Sweden) and the European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) European Parliamentary Group in Copenhagen, November 19-20. A video of the conference is available here. For more information on the conference visit here.

European financial system: next crash just around the corner?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

November 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The trials of major European banks, starting with “venerable institutions” like the Monte dei Paschi di Siena (the world’s oldest bank) and Deutsche Bank (Germany’s largest), have raised the spectre of another 2008 — a “Lehman Brothers times five” in the words of one finance market analyst.

 

Northern nastiness: Far right becomes second party in German chancellor Merkel's home state

 

 

By Victor Grossman

 

September 15, 2016
 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Left Berlin — Old German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck once said – or so goes the legend: “If the world ever perishes I’d want to be in Mecklenburg where everything happens fifty years late.” The alarm bells are now loudly ringing, warning that this once feudally most backward part of Germany between Berlin and the Baltic Sea may prove something like the opposite!

 

The elections on Sunday (Sept. 4) were an unmitigated disaster! The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), running for the first time, rang up an amazing 21.9 % of the vote, putting it in second place behind the Social Democrats and beating out Angela Merkel in her own home state!

After OXI and Brexit: the crisis of the European Union and the Left

 

 

By Angela Klein

 

September 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Within a year two populations of Europe – one in the south, the other in the north – have voted against the EU and its policy. They did this out of entirely different motives and with different aims. Whereas on 5 July 2015 the Greek OXI was directed against the austerity dictates of the Troika and the degradation of Greece to the state of a semi-colonial country, the British Brexit above all was characterized by the fear of “foreigners” and the desire to escape from the freedom of movement in the EU. But at the same time the Brexit expressed the desire to settle accounts with the ruling political elites. Whereas the left was the driving force of the Greek NO, the British NO was captured by the right.

 

Portugal: “el Bloque de Izquierda lucha por la hegemonía de la izquierda”

 

 

[Original in English here]

 

Por Dick Nichols

 

August 18, 2016 — Traducido por Enrique García para Sin Permiso — Es difícil imaginar un contraste más fuerte que entre la 10ª Convención Nacional del Bloque de Izquierda portugués, que se celebró en Lisboa del 24 al 26 de junio, y su predecesora, que tuvo lugar en la misma ciudad hace 18 meses.

 

Portugal's Left Bloc: 'We are competing for left hegemony'

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

August 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal a much shorter version of this article first appeared in Green Left Weekly — It is hard to imagine a sharper contrast than that between the 10th National Convention of Portugal's Left Bloc, held in Lisbon from June 24 to 26, and its predecessor, held in the same city 18 months ago.

 

Poland between social nationalism and the new left

 

 

Interview with Marcelina Zawisza and Maciej Konieczny by Lorenzo Marsili for MicroMega

 

July 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translation by Revolting Europe— In ultra conservative Poland something is happening on the Left, with the birth of Razëm – which means Together – a new party that with over 4 percent of the vote has gained full rights of participation in the political and national media debate. Born from the social movements, inspired by the Spanish Podemos and, at least for now, has decided to break with the traditional parties of the twentieth century. Here’s their story.

 

Migration, fundamentalism & terrorism in Asia

 

 

By Farooq Tariq

 

July 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières -- Religious terrorism has become one of the major challenges for most of the countries in Asia, particularly in South and West Asia. It has resulted in a seemingly nonstop bombings, suicidal attacks and other means of terrorism.

 

Britain: what was behind the 'Brexit' vote?

 

 

June 29 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the aftermath of the recent UK referendum vote to leave the European Union, the British left continues to debate the meaning and significance of the vote. As part of Links' ongoing coverage of the debate we are republishing articles by Charlie Hore, from Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century, and Andrew Flood, from Workers Solidarity Movement.

 

Scottish Socialist Party, Sinn Féin, Momentum and Left Unity on Brexit referendum result

 

 

June 26, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum which ended with a vote in favor of the UK leaving the European Union, Links has republished a variety of statements reflecting the views of key left forces in England, Scotland and Ireland.

 

Political fundamentals and the UK Brexit referendum

 

 

By Tony Norfield

 

June 26, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal originally posted on Economics of Imperialism blog on June 16 — What explains the desperation of British capitalism and Conservative Party in the lead up to the Brexit referendum on 23 June?

Spain: Can the Left’s economic plan turn back austerity?

 

 

The left-wing coalition Unidos Podemos (United We Can), is currently polling over 25% and looks set to surpass the vote of the social-democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE).

 


By Dick Nichols

 

June 14, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal a much shorter version of this article was first published at Green Left Weekly — United We Can — the joint ticket made up of Podemos, the United Left (IU), the green party Equo and three broader alliances in Catalonia (Together We Can), Galicia (In Tide) and the Valencian Country (A la Valenciana) — is campaigning in the June 26 Spanish general election on a plan to reverse economic austerity.

 

Sinn Fein on Brexit – A threat to Irish national interests and a social Europe

 

 

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney (right) speaking on Question Time.

 

By Declan Kearney

 

June 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anphoblacht -- On BBC’s Question Time with David Dimbleby, I asked British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers directly whether she believed a Brexit was in the interests of people in the North – she didn't answer the question.

 

I then asked her whether the British Government, in the event of a Brexit, would replace the European funding which would be lost to the North of Ireland as a consequence of withdrawal from the EU – she didn't answer that question either.

 

The fact is that a Brexit is opposite to the interests of people in the Six Counties.

Should we stay or should we go? The English left debates the European Union referendum

 

 

June 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With the referendum on whether Britain should stay or leave the EU fast approaching, the debate over what position the left should take continues. Links is reposting a vidoe debate between Marina Prentoulis (Syriza UK) and Luke Cooper (Another Europe is Possible) (for in), and Hannah Sell (deputy general secretary, Socialist Party) and Michael Calderbank (Red Pepper) (for out), in a special episode of The Wedge, produced in collaboration with and published on Red Pepper.

 

Below we also have an article by Terry Conway from Socialist Resistance outlining the different positions on the left, and an editorial from Morning Star on what the EU represents.

 

Local politics enters the global contest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

 

 

European municipalities are joining the battle against TTIP to protect sovereignty and public services, as well as demonstrating how to take political initiative and build an alternative economy

 

By Sol Trumbo Vila

 

May 27, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transnational Institute -- Opponents of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) see their chances of victory increasing. Local authorities are now also increasingly taking a strong position against supranational structures that negotiate opaque trade deals.

 

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