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For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE
Athens -- Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed tens of thousands of people late on July 3, 2015, in the final rally to call for a #OXI (No) vote in the July 5 referendum against the European Union's blackmail and austerity.
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Citizens of Athens, citizens of Greece.
Today we are not protesting, today we are not demonstrating–today we are celebrating.
Today we are celebrating democracy.
Democracy is cause for celebration, democracy is cause for joy; democracy is liberation, democracy is a solution.
July 3, 2015 -- Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and the SYRIZA-led government as they prepare for a referendum on July 5, 2015, on whether to accept the continuation of the program of neoliberal austerity or chart a new course free from the debilitating stranglehold of the “troika” — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission.
We support the call of SYRIZA for a "no vote" as the only option for the people of Greece, especially the working classes, to assert sovereign control over the country's economy and their own future.
We condemn the “troika” and their allied political institutions, for forcing their policies of neoliberal austerity, privatisation, deregulation and savage cutbacks dismantling the public sector. We, therefore, hold the “troika” responsible for the massive unemployment, increased poverty, greater social inequality and a severe economic depression now being experienced by Greece. The irony of it all is that the huge debts the “troika” is demanding for repayment did not go to Greece but were used to repay private sector creditors such as French and German banks. In other words, these are onerous and illegitimate debts.
In Barcelona, central St. James Square was packed with chanting, whooping and confetti-throwing supporters of the winning Barcelona Together and its leader, housing rights activist Ada Colau.
For more on politics in Spain, click HERE.
By Dick Nichols
July 1, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On Saturday, June 13, the squares in front of scores of town halls across the Spanish state were jam-packed with enthusiastic crowds: tens of thousands were gathering to celebrate the inauguration of the progressive administrations created by the leftward swing in the May 24 local government elections for the country’s 8122 councils.
Greece: 'To authoritarianism and austerity, we respond with democracy' -- SYRIZA calls referendum on EU austerity
Posted by George Sophie Flourentzou on Monday, June 29, 2015
Massive protest against austerity, Athens, June 29, 2015.
For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE
Speech by Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece; translation by Stathis Kouvelakis
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July 4, 2015 -- Irish Republican News, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The election of a first-ever Sinn Fein mayor in Dublin has underlined the party’s progress in city councils across the island ahead of the centennial commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Long-standing Dublin councillor Criona Ni Dhalaigh (pictured above) was elected mayor with 41 votes from the 63 member city council -- despite a last minute effort by the right-wing parties to wreck a deal which should have guaranteed Sinn Fein the post.
Ni Dhalaigh is the 346th mayor of the city, but only the eighth woman to hold the office.
Sinn Fein became the largest party on the council at last year’s local elections, taking 16 out of the council’s seats.
"But the banks are made of marble, with a guard at every door, and the vaults are stuffed with silver, that the worker sweated for ..." -- "The Banks are made of Marble" was written circa 1948 by Les Rice and recorded by Pete Seeger among others.
By John Rainford
July 2, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Across Africa, western Asia and Latin America in the 1980s, the growth of per capita GDP was brought to a halt. This was not a recession, it was a severe depression, and its cause was profligate lending by banks in the 1970s.
In the 1960s, the Eurocurrency (as opposed to the euro) had been invented. US dollars deposited in non-US banks and held there in order to avoid restrictions of US laws became negotiable financial instruments that formed the basis for an unregulated market specialising in short-term loans.
In 1964 the market was estimated at US$14 billion, but by 1978 it was close to $500 billion after it became the chief mechanism for investing the massive oil profits of the Organization of Petrol Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel, which managed to quadruple oil prices in 1973 and treble them again in the late 1970s. In 1970, the average price for a barrel of oil was US$2.53, in 1980 it was about $41.
By Lucas Koerner
July 1, 2015 -- Venezuelanalysis.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro voiced solidarity with the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras after the latter refused a payment of $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I want to officially express solidarity to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Greek people on behalf of Venezuela”, said the socialist leader on his weekly television program shortly after the IMF deadline late June 30 evening.
Greece’s recently elected leftwing SYRIZA government rejected the harsh terms for a new bailout laid out by the Troika, composed of the IMF, European Commission (EC), and the European Central Bank (ECB), which would have meant a continuation of the severe austerity policies that have devastated the Greek economy over the last five years.
“Fear not, Greek sisters and brothers, the path forward is to break the chains of international financial capital and the IMF, to free yourselves from the yoke that tries to consume the people’s blood, the people’s labor, the wealth of countries, that is the path”, Maduro continued.
Λέμε ΟΧΙ Για την Ελλάδα της Αξιοπρέπειας, για την Ευρώπη της ΔημοκρατίαςPosted by ΣΥ.ΡΙΖ.Α. on Wednesday, July 1, 2015
July 1, 2015 -- Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "We say no! For a Greece of dignity, for a Europe of democracy."
By Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece
June 28, 2015 -- Prime Minister of Greece, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Yesterday’s Eurogroup decision to not approve the Greek government’s request for a few days’ extension of the program -- to give the Greek people a chance to decide by referendum on the institutions’ ultimatum -- constitutes an unprecedented challenge to European affairs, an action that seeks to bar the right of a sovereign people to exercise their democratic prerogative.
Uxue Barkos, leader of Geroa Bai.
By Duroyan Fertl
June 23, 2015 -- Hintadupfing, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Regional elections held in Spain on May 24 have installed an historic pro-Basque state government in the autonomous community of Navarre for the first time, bringing to an end 16 years of rule by the pro-Spanish, centre-right Navarrese People's Union (UPN).
The UPN won only 15 seats, down four from 2011, while its ally, the right-wing Spanish People’s Party (of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy), won two, half of its quota in 2011.
Instead, Uzue Barkos, leader of the pro-Basque coalition Geroa Bai (“Yes to the Future”) – itself a coalition of centre-left Basque nationalist association Zabaltzen and the centre-right Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) – approached other pro-Basque parties to negotiate a coalition government after her party won nine seats.
Greece: Committee finds debt 'illegal, illegitimate and odious'; should not be paid (updated with full report)
In June 2015 Greece stands at a crossroad of choosing between furthering the failed macroeconomic adjustment programmes imposed by the creditors or making a real change to break the chains of debt. Five years since the economic adjustment programmes began, the country remains deeply cemented in an economic, social, democratic and ecological crisis. The black box of debt has remained closed, and until now no authority, Greek or international, has sought to bring to light the truth about how and why Greece was subjected to the Troika regime. The debt, in whose name nothing has been spared, remains the rule through which neoliberal adjustment is imposed, and the deepest and longest recession experienced in Europe during peacetime.
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Two years after its closure by the previous right-wing government, Greek public broadcaster ERT was back on air on the morning of June 11, 2015.
By Dick Nichols
June 15, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For a while in late May, it looked as if the negotiations over the terms for releasing the last €7.2 billion owed Greece under its second bailout package with the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (the “Troika”) just might have some chance of success.
June 13, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It was an historic day in the Basque Country's capital, Iruñea/Pamplona. For the first time a pro-independence left mayor was elected with the support of four progressive and nationalist parties.
Euskal Herria Bildu's candidate Joseba Asiron will now form government to run the city for the next four years after 20 years of repressive pro-Spanish right-wing unionist mayors. Thousands gathered outside the city hall to celebrate.Thanks to Basque Info.
Alberto Garzón in his office at the Congress. Photo by Marta Jara.
June 1, 2015 -- Transform!, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Alberto Garzón, a Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) candidate in Spain's November general election, was interviewed by eldiario.es in his office at the Spanish Congress. The interview was conducted by Aitor Riveiro.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
Click for more on left politics in Scotland
By Murray Smith
June 4, 2015 – International Viewpoint, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The day after the May 7 Westminster [British] general election, George Kerevan, newly elected Scottish National Party MP for East Lothian, was walking through his constituency. He was approached by a group of young working-class women who recognised him, proudly declared that they had all voted SNP and wanted to take “selfies” with him. When Kerevan asked why, they replied “because this is history”.
They were of course right. The day before the SNP had taken 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland, leaving the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties with one each.
SSP national co-spokesperson Colin Fox.
May 25, 2015 -- Scottish Left Project, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Scottish Left Project welcomes the motion passed at the Scottish Socialist Party annual conference calling for a new left electoral alliance in time for the 2016 Holyrood [Scottish] elections.
Colin Fox, SSP national co-spokesperson said:
The Scottish Socialist Party believes the Scottish Left Project electoral alliance has great potential and we want to help harvest that potential. We bring our experience and expertise as a party, one that has fought all four previous Holyrood elections, with us. And we look forward to meeting our partners in the Left Project in the next few days to see what progress can now be made towards advancing our shared political goals.
By Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece
May 31, 2015 -- Helenic Republic, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On 25th of last January, the Greek people made a courageous decision. They dared to challenge the one-way street of the Memorandum’s tough austerity, and to seek a new agreement. A new agreement that will keep the country in the euro, with a viable economic program, without the mistakes of the past.
By Dave Holmes
May 25, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The June 7 elections to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly are shaping up to be the most important in a long time. The bold decision of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to run as a party and strive to exceed the grossly undemocratic 10% threshold needed to win representation in parliament has put the group at the political centre stage.
Although its key support base lies in the oppressed Kurdish community, the HDP is reaching out to all those oppressed, exploited and discriminated against across the country. This includes women, workers, the Alevi religious community, Armenians, Assyrians and LGBTI people.
Support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has clearly slipped since the 2011 elections. The AKP will almost certainly gain the most seats, but the HDP's rise will deny it any chance of the super-majority needed to unilaterally amend the constitution through parliament.
AKP leader Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s supposedly impartial president, wants to establish a dictatorial executive presidency. This ambition appears to be doomed.
Poll shows AKP woes
May 28, 2015 -- The following is the resolution of the central committee of SYRIZA, published on May 24 and is binding for the party collectively. The resolution is a product of consensus and has been voted for. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal for the information of the international left.
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From January 25, the government has been giving an unprecedented political struggle. A struggle towards the country’s final exit from the dead-end of the memoranda; a struggle to alleviate the burden of those fighting to survive after the policies implemented during the last 5 years; to restart the economy on a path of viable and socially just development; for the termination of the vicious circle of dept and austerity. A struggle for hope, not only for Greece but for the whole of Europe.
Supporters of the Madrid Now! ticket await the results of the regional and municipal elections in Madrid, May 24, 2015.
May 27, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Once the results of Spain’s May 24 local and regional elections became known the main lesson for the anti-austerity and anti-capitalist left was simply and starkly obvious: the more united and more involving of ordinary people its election campaigns were, the greater its gains and the greater the losses for the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE)—its main rival for the popular and working-class vote—and for the ruling conservative People’s Party (PP).
Where the two main poles of the radical left in the Spanish state—Podemos and the United Left (IU)— managed to merge their forces in projects organised not as alliances between party apparatuses but as participatory citizens’ electoral campaigns, the results were at times little short of astounding.